Bill Shorten has refused to categorically rule out today whether Labor will rip the private health insurance rebate that will create a more than $70 billion health tax for more than 13 million Australian families and pensioners.

Removing the $6 billion a year patient rebate will have a significant price hike for pensioners and families with health insurance, whilst putting increased pressure on the public health system.

When asked in Melbourne this morning, he said: “we have no plans.”

Bill Shorten needs be honest with the Australian people and categorically rule out further cuts to the rebate by Labor.

Only last week, Bill Shorten misled Australians when he said that Labor has no plans to change superannuation, when in reality Labor has an additional $34 billion in higher taxes on super.

What exactly are his plans for private health insurance that millions of Australians rely? Because his Shadow Minister for Health Catherine King yesterday refused to rule out any further cuts to the rebate.

At the National Press Club Health Debate yesterday in Canberra, Ms King initially said: “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 already be impacted by Labor’s reckless cuts to private health insurance.

“I'm not going to rule in or out what the Productivity Commission might recommend or might not recommend, nor what our response would actually be,” Ms King said.

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, particularly senior Australians living in regional Australia.

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

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 healthcare system because they can’t manage money.