Labor has today refused to rule out whether it will rip the private health insurance rebate away from more Australian families and pensioners.

In March this year Labor was forced into admitting that they plan to rip the private health insurance rebate away from over 65,000 hardworking Australian families.

This will increase the cost of their policy by over 16% according to modelling from Deloitte.

At the National Press Club Health Debate today in Canberra, Labor’s Shadow Minister for Health confirmed Labor’s plan to force up costs for Australian with private health insurance by 16%

“Now we've said we'll not make any further changes to the rebate beyond what we have announced.”

However when pushed on whether they will go further with their plans to cut the rebate, Catherine King refused to rule out extending the cuts beyond the 65,000 Australians who will be hardest hit.

“I'm not going to rule in or out what the Productivity Commission might recommend or might not recommend, not what our response would actually be,” Ms King said.

Removing the rebate will have a significant impact on all people with private health insurance but will hit pensioners and families that hardest.

Over 13 million Australians rely on their private health insurance to support them when they are sick.,

“The first thing to say is that private health overall is in trouble,” Ms King said.

Labor cut the private health insurance rebate when they were in government after guaranteeing they wouldn’t touch it.

Labor’s has a track record of ripping support away from Australian with private health insurance.

Last time Labor was in Government they cut $4 billion from the private health insurance rebate and the former Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek gloated about these cuts when she said, “Every promise I made I paid for. How did I pay for it? I paid for it by targeting private health insurance” (4/4/16 Press Conference).

Late last year we saw the real world effects of Labor’s proposed 2% health insurance premium cap with the Courier Mail reporting that private hospitals in Queensland “have secretly warned they will close services and turn away patients, putting more pressure on public hospitals, because of Labor’s private health insurance cap.” (23/12/18, Courier Mail).

Labor cannot be trusted to protect Australia’s mixed public-private health system and their policies will lead to increased pressure being placed on the public health system.