I am very aware of the cost of living pressures the people of Shortland face each day. One of the largest contributors to this is the huge increase in the cost of private health insurance over the past few years.
Insurance premiums have skyrocketed by 27 per cent under the Coalition Government. Australian families are paying an average $1,000 more a year for their private health insurance than they were in 2013.
These figures should also be viewed in the context that the private health insurers are making record profits – even more than the banks. In fact, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency has revealed that private health insurers received $3.2 billion more in premiums than Australians received in health benefits from them last year.
Labor has a sensible plan to address these soaring increases.
If elected, a Labor Government will cap private health insurance premium increases at 2 per cent each year in the first two years. This will save families an average $340. In Shortland almost 81,000 people and over 10,000 families will benefit from our policy.
This is a practical and rational approach which will provide tangible relief to the cost of living pressures Australians are facing.
I am proud to be a member of a party that is committed to a well-resourced and equitable healthcare system. Labor created Medicare, and has protected it against continued attacks from the Abbott/Turnbull Government. Under Malcolm Turnbull, the Commonwealth Government’s total health expenditure continues to fall as a percentage of the total Commonwealth Budget – even decreasing further than it was under Tony Abbott.
I recognise the important role that private health insurance contributes to the health system, and want to ensure that it is viable and affordable into the future.
Labor’s private health insurance policy is an important step in helping to relieve cost of living pressures Australians are experiencing. Our health policies will ensure we have a thriving public system, and a fair private system.