9th June 2011: A plan to means test private health insurance rebates will hurt more than 53,000 South Burnett and Wide Bay residents and put even more stress on the public heath system according to Mermber for Wide Bay Warren Truss.
"Almost 40,000 adults living in Wide Bay hold private health insurance and 53,275 people - including children - are covered under those policies," Mr Truss said.
"Each one of those policy holders will be hurt under the Labor-Greens plan to means test private health insurance rebates if it's allowed to proceed. Means testing the rebate means that premiums will rise directly by up to 40%
Mr Truss said maintaining the private health insurance rebate is important to relieve pressure on the public hospital system.
"The rebate helps to reduce public hospital admissions. Any person who drops their private health insurance cover then relies on the public health system, adding to the long waiting lists which already exist. Deloitte's estimate that the Government will save $1.9 billion
by its changes to the rebates but the cost to the public health system will rise by $3.8 billion
It's estimated that 5.6 million Australians with health cover earned less than $50,000 a year and around one million of those had incomes of less than $24,000.
"Many people in the South Burnett and Wide Bay regions would fit into that income bracket, including pensioners and self funded retirees who go without other things so they can keep their health insurance," Mr Truss said.
Read more about the Federal Government's plan on the Sydney Morning Herald