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Treasury supports Greens health policy

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 24 Feb 2009

The Australian Greens today applauded the Department of Treasury for supporting the long-standing Greens policy of scrapping the private health insurance rebate.

"It is good to see the experts in the Treasury Department recognising that this Howard era measure is bad policy," said Australian Greens health spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.

"The private health insurance rebate takes money away from public hospitals and puts it straight in the deep pockets of the private health insurance industry."

"This is public money that should be spent in a way that benefits the health and wellbeing of all Australians," said Senator Siewert.

"People living in rural areas often cannot use their private health insurance. I know in my home state of Western Australia you would be struggling to find a private hospital outside of the major metropolitan areas."

"The Greens believe that the public health system should be properly funded and that the billions of dollars which have been diverted from it over the past decade or more should be restored," she said.

"If the Government require any more information on the Greens health policies, my office is more than happy to offer a briefing."

"It is now up to the Health Minister and Treasurer to demonstrate their commitment to a strong public health system and to guarantee that the health and wellbeing of the Australian people comes foremost," concluded Senator Siewert.

Australian Greens policy D1 23 - Abolish the private health insurance rebate and redirect funds to the public health system, including public hospitals.

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