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Budget 2009: Insurance cut an unhealthy blow for Australians.

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Media contact: Penny Watts (02) 60213264 0428 213 264

The Hon SUSSAN LEY MP Federal Member for Farrer Shadow Minister for Justice and Customs

14 May 2009

MEDIA RELEASE For immediate release

Insurance cut an unhealthy blow for Australians

The Rudd Labor Governments one-size-fits-all health care scheme announced in yesterday’s budget will only put pressure on public health and force up insurance premiums, according to Member for Farrer, Sussan Ley.

The Rudd Government has slashed the 30 per cent private health rebate for middle and high-income earners in Tuesday’s budget in an effort to find savings to cover up their year of reckless spending.

Ms Ley said the 44,763 constituents in Farrer (48 per cent) with private health insurance have been dealt an unhealthy blow by the Rudd Government’s attack on the private health insurance rebate.

“Australians will now pay more for their health needs, as private insurance members will be pushed to use public NSW health services, which are already breaking under the strain,” Ms Ley said.

“People on waiting lists in public hospitals will have to wait longer as demands increase.

“This is a clear breach of an election promise as they have repeatedly promised to preserve private health insurance incentives.”

Ms Ley said the flow-on effects would be vast, not only impacting on services, but jobs in the private insurance sector, developments from private hospitals and clinics which have been set up in the past.

Ms Ley said changes to the Medicare Safety Net would also have effects on Farrer residents trying to access essential services such as obstetrics, reproductive technology and cataract surgery.

“This is another clear breach of an election promise,” she said.