Final campaigning to focus on private health
THE Coalition will use the next eight days as a referendum on private health insurance, after Labor refused to commit to keeping the entire $6 billion rebate.
The resharpening of Scott Morrison's campaign is a pitch to undecided voters, who are being warned of a hike in private health insurance premiums if the rebate is reduced.
Health Minister Greg Hunt will attack Labor's plan to cut the rebate of 65,000 Australians on low-cost policies, saying it will push up the price by more $1000 for pensioners and $1500 young families.
Labor will ask the Productivity Commission to review the private health sector and will not say if it will keep the rebate in its entire form.
At a recent health debate, Labor's health spokeswoman Catherine King said: "I'm not going to rule in or out what the Productivity Commission might recommend or might not recommend, nor what our response would be."
Statistics obtained by The Courier-Mail show many of the Queensland seats with the highest rates of private health insurance are in marginal seats, such as Dickson, Capricornia, Dawson, Petrie and Flynn.
Mr Hunt seized on Mr Shorten comparing the rebate to a "subsidy".
"This week, Mr Shorten likened the private health insurance rebate to negative gearing, which he is going to slash," he said.