Inside Story | 12 July 2013

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Do we need private health insurance?Ian McAuley

The most efficient and fairest option is a single national insurer.

Ian McAuley, CPDfellow and Adjunct Lecturer in public sector finance at the University of Canberra, discusses the relevance of private health insurance and how rebates and subsidies could be better spent on healthcare. A more socially cohesive approach could be fairer with those able to afford it making payments into a system that currently has free services such as public hospitals. A ‘gated community’ is what private health care and hospitals create while costing $2.4 billion a year.

“Policy-makers need to ask not only whether private insurance adds value to healthcare — and our analysis finds it does not — but also whether it could serve a useful role under any circumstances. Like other industries, this part of the finance industry should be required to show that in return for budgetary and regulatory support it can achieve outcomes that could not be gained through other, less expensive means. We believe it cannot.”

You can read more about private health insurance in CPD’s report from 2012, Private Health Insurance: High in cost and low in equity, by John Menadue and Ian McAuley.

Check out Ian McAuely’s article at Inside Story.

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