I am a member, unfortunately, of HBF. Whilst I believe in public health, it is hard to be a sick person and not have insurance, so I pay the bare minimum I have to to get coverage.
So, during my attempts to update some account information, I went to the HBF website, which had this article on its front page. The gist of it is:
“The 30% rebate is the Federal Government’s contribution towards the cost of your health insurance. Put simply, for every $100 in premium you should pay, the Government pays $30. This means that rather than $100, you only have to pay $70.
Without the rebate, many Australians would not be able to afford private health insurance and this would almost certainly increase demand and the burden on the public health system…
So, next time you hear someone talking about reducing or abolishing the rebate, remind them that it is your rebate they’re talking about. As a taxpaying Australian who is responsibly taking care of your health needs, you deserve it.
To register your support visit the Save Your 30% Rebate site at: http://www.ahia.org.au/savetherebate.htm”
So, guess what I did. I went to the website to register my disgust, but not in a way that they would expect. The form asked me the usual details, and also if I would be interested in writing to members of Parliament, or give interviews to press and radio. I couldn’t help myself. In the comments section I wrote the following:
“I, like the majority of Australians, are only in Health Insurance because our healthcare system has been eroded, and we are in a position where we need surgery.
Private Health Insurance, and particularly the public money spent on private insurance, further erodes the health system by diverting funds that are needed by our public hospitals.
The insurance industry is profiting from the erosion of public health, and your attempts to claim you ‘represent’ the people by scaring their hip pockets into action (as you have done here)is extremely cynical.
What our taxpayers need to do is stop the diversion of funds away from public healthcare, and instead demand that our money goes into our hospitals and encourages bulk billing. I note the irony of you using the word “taxpayer” in your arguments — after all, doesn;t that imply that they are paying TWICE for a 30% rebate on health insurance that doesn;t pay the full amounts anyway?
I resent the assumption that as a member of HBF I would support the rebate, or take action based on my fear of losing the rebate. We are in health insurance because the Howard government came up with this crappy system, whereby anyone who needs care needs to pay for it.
I would be more than happy to express this to any member of Parliament, radio station or newspaper and would be quite happy to engage in a thorough debate of this issue.
(Sorry, but you’re asking for it by having a link on the HBF main page…)”
I hit submit. I’ll be interested to see what their response is.