The Australian government's planned changes to private health insurance may go awry when the bill is tabled in the Senate to be passed. The Australian Greens led by Bob Brown insist that they will vote against an important part of the package.
The Labor-ruled government wants to means test the 30 per cent rebate and increase the Medicare surcharge levy for those without cover in order to save $100 billion over the next four decades. But Greens health spokesman Richard Di Natale said on Wednesday, the minor party would vote against any hike in the surcharge levy.
"We don't support the Medicare surcharge levy when it comes to private health insurance," Senator Di Natale told reporters in Canberra.
"We shouldn't be penalising people for not taking out private health insurance - that's a mistake". The government wants to increase the surcharge for the wealthiest Australians without cover from one to 1.5 per cent of taxable income.