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Private health money needs to go to public health services.

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Rachel Siewert

Private health money needs to go to public health services

Media Release | Spokesperson Rachel Siewert

Wednesday 19th August 2009, 9:37am


• Health & Wellbeing

• Health Insurance

• Health Services

• Medicare

• Public / Private Health Services

The Australian Greens today said that they would support the Government's

measures to means-test the Private Health Insurance rebate as it was a step

towards implementing Greens policy on the rebate. However, the Greens outlined

that they won't be supporting the Medicare Levy Surcharge increases.

"Our public health system needs to be properly funded, and that very funding could

come from the billions of dollars which have been diverted into the private health

insurance rebate over the past decade," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel


"The Medicare Levy Surcharge levy unfairly penalises people who have chosen not

to take out private health insurance and support the public health system. The

Government is targeting conscientious objectors and the surcharge is being used by

Government as a sop to industry to try and push people into private health industry."

"We have said time and again that the rebate is not an effective mechanism to attract

and retain members in the health funds. It is an ineffective and inefficient use of

taxpayer dollars, basically supporting the health insurance industry. It's corporate


"It should not be the Government's responsibility to provide incentives for the private

health insurance industry to attract buyers to its membership products."

"We will move to split these Bills, so that the Senate can vote on each Bill."

"The billions of dollars poured into the private health insurance industry has not

improved our public health system and reform needs to go further than means-testing the rebate," concluded Senator Siewert.

For more information or media enquiries please call Tim Norton on 0418 401 180