Abbott ‘won’t rule it out’.

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In other words, he is betting on it.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200502/s1304636.htm

Health Insurance Premiums are set to rise by about $200 per year for your average punter, because apparently HBF and their friends are nearly destitute. After all, HBF only reported a $67 million surplus last year, and Medibank Private a dismal $10 million. Probably not much in the grand scale of corporate profits, but certainly enough to make me feel pretty comfortable.

Here’s an idea. How about they stop spending so much money on advertising? What with private health insurance becoming an increasingly essential service and all. What was once a luxury service reserved for the upwardly mobile wankers who wanted to give birth in a hammock, has now become a necessity to actually survive many illnesses.

On 720 ABC this morning, a number of callers reported 5 months wait for radiotherapy treatment for cancer. This is not just for public patients, but they are the most affected by this. It seems that public hospitals are prioritising private patients, which has pushed public patients into ridiculous wait times for such elective procedures as cancer treatment and a hole in the head. I shit you not.

Now, I am not about to blame private patients and say “go to a private hospital”, because it really isn’t that simple. Despite ordinary people paying more for their cover, they are being squeezed out of private hospitals because of the ridiculous gaps they have to pay, after having already forked out thousands per year for coverage. The problem here is that everyone is being squeezed by the private system — because it is designed to replace the public system rather than complement it. They want to have an American system, where those with benefits have an increased chance of eventaully seeing a doctor, and those without can basically see if they can out-wait the waiting list. In other words, they’re fucked.

Premiums are going up, benefits are going down. Public hospitals are trying to accomodate BOTH private and public patients. And who is the worst off here? The public patients, who are the becoming the lowest priority, regardless of their need.

If you insist on having a two-tier system, then make sure that those private patients are going into private hospitals — not paying a fortune for care that they should have the right to in the public system anyway. Instead of HBF paying for gym memberships and bullshit value-added “services” that people should have to pay for, such as cosmetic surgery, how about actually covering people when they get sick?

Don’t raise premiums. Slash your advertising budget because the government is advertising for you. Pay for essential life saving surgeries — and leave the gym memberships, sneakers and exercise gear out of your benefits table. Its not rocket science.

I honestly never thought that, in Australia, in a health system has been applauded by other countries in the past, has been so undermined that people can’t afford to get sick anymore — even if you have Insurance. Because they won’t cover you for heart surgery, but shit, they’ll sure as hell help you when you need an eyelift.

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