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Tuesday, 4 June 2013
Page: 5162


Ms PLIBERSEK (SydneyMinister for Health) (21:04): I rise to sum up on the Private Health Insurance Amendment (Lifetime Health Cover Loading and Other Measures) Bill 2012 and the Private Health Insurance Legislation Amendment (Base Premium) Bill 2013. It has been extraordinary listening to the contributions of those opposite. If you listened to the contributions, you would not know that they are actually supporting one of these pieces of legislation. The extraordinary comments of the previous member missed the point entirely.

I thank the members of the opposition and, indeed, the members of the crossbenches who will be supporting the Private Health Insurance Legislation Amendment (Base Premium) Bill 2013. It is very important legislation. It makes our continued contribution to private health insurance affordable into the future and it also allows us to pay for some very important commitments we have made in dental care to pay for kids' dental needs—our Grow Up Smiling program with $1,000 worth of dental care for every child and the family tax benefit A for 3.4 million children, who will find it as easy to see a dentist as it is now to see a doctor—and DisabilityCare Australia, another huge change and as big a change as the introduction of Medicare was.

I am also very pleased that members who are supporting the Private Health Insurance Amendment (Lifetime Health Cover Loading and Other Measures) Bill 2012 understand that if you back these important spends in disability and dental then you have to back the saves. What we have opposite are members who have had five different positions in a month on private health insurance. They have backed one save; they have not backed the other save, for no apparent active logical consistency other than that one shadow minister had to win one fight and the other one had to win the other fight so that they could sit in the same shadow cabinet room together. If you back the spends, you have to back the saves. I commend these bills to the House.

The SPEAKER: The question is that this bill be now read a second time.