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Latest Gillard Government private health insurance increase will put more pressure on Boothby households



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FEDERAL MEMBER FOR BOOTHBY SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR PRIMARY HEALTHCARE

Latest Gillard Government private health insurance increase will put more pressure on Boothby households

February 8, 2013

The latest decision of the Gillard Government to increase private health insurance premiums by 5.6% will drive even more people out of private health insurance says Andrew Southcott, Member for Boothby.

“Every year under the Rudd/Gillard Government, Australian families have experienced private health insurance increases above the CPI”, said Dr Southcott.

“Julia Gillard used to say that the Health Minister “should be doing his job and putting pressure on private health insurers to keep premiums down” - now she is overseeing massive increases in the cost of private health insurance and breaking her promises on the Private Health Insurance Rebate.

Andrew Southcott said Julia Gillard was cutting around $4 billion from private health over the next four years and that her new means test on the 30 per cent rebate would cost families up to an extra $1200 a year. This is on top of today’s announcement which will cost the average Australian family nearly $200 a year.

“Private health insurance is now unaffordable for many families, including the millions who have it but who earn less than $35,000 a year. This means that as people quit or downgrade their private health insurance even more people will be added to public hospital waiting lists”.

“There are 88,344 people in Boothby who rely on private health insurance - and the policies of the Gillard government are putting more pressure on families, with many deciding to drop their private health insurance”.

Dr Southcott said the health system is already under pressure due to the Gillard Government’s $1.6 billion worth of cuts to public hospitals.

“Hospital cutbacks, broken promises on private health insurance and continued private health insurance increases over and above CPI are taking their toll on families and putting more pressure on our public hospitals.

Dr Southcott said the Coalition was committed to strengthening Medicare and taking pressure off public hospitals by restoring the Private Health Insurance Rebate as

soon as we responsibly can, and will end the waste and get the Budget back under control so that Australians can be provided with better health services”.