Update 30 April 2009: the Age today ran another criticism of the middle class welfare that is the pribate halth insurance rebate:
State and federal politicians must confront those in the medical fraternity who now have a vested interest in bad government. And they must confront the private hospital insurance funds whose contribution to the nation’s health is to impose a tax equal to 10 per cent of premium income to fund their higher administrative charges and underwrite the undisciplined growth in private health provider incomes.
I’ve been paying the Medicare levy surcharge for years because I refuse to accept the immoral bribe (the rebate) from the government to buy an inefficient and unnecessary product (private health insurance). It’s time the government stopped supporting a vile and parasitic enterprise.
Update 23 February 2009: the Age today reports that:
Treasury, in one of its first briefings to the Rudd Government after its 2007 election win, urged Mr Swan to seriously consider scrapping the rebate. The briefing said the billions of dollars lost annually to the rebate would be better spent on public hospitals.
It’s nice to know dear leader Rudd is now as adept at ignoring professional advice and wasting taxpayers’ money suppporting inefficient private greed as his predecessor.
Update 16 October 2008: a compromise has been made that sets the Medicare Levy surcharge amounts at $70,000 for individuals and $140,000 for couples, indexed to wages growth, not the consumer price index. It’s still a vile and unnecessary tax that forces the public to support private corporate greed at the expense of paying for primary health care, but at least lower income earners have been freed. I’m tempted to lower my employment committments to get under the limit.
Update 24 September 2008: the spineless cowards in Labor have misled the electorate and withdrawn from their promise to end the corrupt taxpayer subsidy of the enefficient private health insurance industry. The Medicare levy surcharge threshhold is being lowered in breach of their election promise. The Rudd government is completely untrustworthy.
Original post: Thank you Mr Swan and Mr Rudd – you have primised to end the enforced taxpayer subsidy that supports the social parasites of the private health insurance industry. As I wrote last year, the Medicare Levy Surcharge was part of the Liberal government’s crude agenda against the sustainability of the public health system and the needs of the majority of the population. Finally the extra tax or bribe is being altered, and many people like myself will not be forced to subsidise an industry that should not exist or pay a penalty to the government.
I hope the Labor government will also address some of the other tax traps that make single and/or childless people pay for things that breeders should pay for themselves. I’m not the only one that thinks that middle class breeder welfare has become a monster. The childfree are sick of subsidising your smug selfishness.