Oops… Not satisfied with embarrassing themselves twice today about their dismal private health insurance record, Labor did it again this afternoon.
In response to an AIHW report showing Commonwealth health spending hit a record low under their Government, and patients and health insurance were picking up the bill, Labor desperately issued this:
“In a bizarre media release the Minister today denounced the means testing of the Private Health Insurance Rebate which came into effect seven months AFTER the election of the Liberals.”
Catherine King – 25 September 2015 – Media Release
According to Ms King’s statement, that would mean Labor’s private health insurance rebate means test came into effect in April 2014.
Except, it didn’t.
Just ask Labor Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek, who was Labor Health Minister who oversaw the introduction of the ALP’s private health insurance rebate cuts:
“Means-testing the private health insurance rebate means that low and middle income Australians no longer subsidise the health insurance of higher income Australians. Nearly eight million private health insurance policy holders won’t be affected when the changes take effect from July 1, 2012.”
Tanya Plibersek – 16 May 2012 – Media Release
This was after it was revealed this morning Ms King and her deputy, Stephen Jones, had falsely attacked the Government over rising health costs to consumers, not realising the figures applied to their last Budget in office (2013/14):
“Out of pocket health expenses continue to rise according to today’s @aihw report.”
Labor Shadow Assistant Health Minister Stephen Jones – 24 September 2015 – Tweet
“An increasing share of health costs are being pushed on to families.”
Labor Shadow Health Minister Catherine King – 24 September 2015 – Media Release
And in a third blunder, neither realised Ms Plibersek would come back to haunt them again, with claims the ALP’s $3.5 billion worth of cuts to the value of the private health rebate were meant to be reinvested back into the health system:
“We can choose to pay very high subsidies for private health insurance, or we can choose to invest some of that money back into our health system to build a stronger health system.”
Tanya Plibersek – 8 February 2013 – Sydney Press Conference
Minister for Health Sussan Ley said it was clear Labor’s “year of no ideas” in health continued.
“Consumers are telling me Labor’s cuts are eroding the value of the private health rebate and in turn pushing up their out of pocket costs or forcing them to downgrade,” Ms Ley said.
“It’s clear from Labor’s cuts to the private health insurance rebate that they are in fact the party determined to make patients pay more for their health care.
“Today’s shambles shows Labor’s more interested in defending their indefensible cuts to the private health insurance rebate than actually helping patients and consumers access affordable health care.
“There’s no easy answer to fix the complex mess Labor has made of the system, but I’m certainly listening to consumers and keen to work with them to improve their value for money.”