In this article, Melissa Sweet promotes John Menadue and Ian McAuley’s discussion paper on private health insurance subsidies in Australia. With the government debating whether to introduce means testing on private health insurance, the new report urges the Government to withdraw all support for private health insurance, on equity and efficiency grounds. Given that the government has a stated policy of ‘social inclusion’, it seems strange that the well-off are able to opt out of sharing their hospital costs with other Australians.
“While 64 percent of Australians live in state and territory capital cities, 74 percent of private hospital beds are in those capital cities. By contrast, the supply of public hospital beds is skewed away from capital cities. Because people in country and remote regions are generally not as well-off as city dwellers, this regional imbalance amplifies inequities already in PHI subsidies. Prosperous urban dwellers are being subsidized by less well-off people in rural and outback Australia.”
Read the full article in the Crikey’s health blog, Croakey here