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Hypocrisy, thy name is Tony.

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Shadow Minister for Health


When questioned about rising private health insurance premiums yesterday, Health Minister Tony Abbott declared that:

… in the real world, as opposed to a perfect world, where all sorts of other costs are going up, it’s not unreasonable for the private health insurers to consider whether their prices need to go up as well.

I remind Minister Abbott that, before the 2001 election, Prime Minister Howard and his Government said that there would be “downward pressure” on premiums and that private health insurance would be “more affordable and attractive” to consumers.

Indeed, John Howard’s election policy booklet, “Heading in the Right Direction”, promised that his Government’s policies would “lead to reduced premiums” (page 151).

Tony Abbott and John Howard are desperately and unconvincingly trying to pretend that these statements made in the context of the 2001 election campaign simply don’t exist.

When asked about further premium rises, the best Tony Abbott can do is tell Australian families to prepare themselves, saying:

That’s just the way the world works.

Tony Abbott should be doing his job and putting pressure on private health insurers to keep premiums down. Instead, he is just getting ready to rubber stamp premium increases and ignoring the fact that families who have budgeted and paid for private health cover deserve to receive value for their money.

13 January 2004

For further information contact: Julia Gillard MP on 0417 361 637 Jamie Snashall on 0407 438 746