Health insurance tax rebates are a bad idea

Mike Yardley writes:

Last year, National arrogantly blocked some legislative moves to pragmatically embrace private healthcare.

If Labour really wants to help reconnect with middle New Zealand, they should jettison their traditional leftie nostrums of private health representing a two-tier system, and campaign for change.

Promise a 25 per cent  rebate for the over 65s, axe fringe benefit tax from health cover to incentivise employers to cover their workforce and force parent category migrants to self-insure for their first 10 years in New Zealand.

Enabling greater use of private health surgery will help unlock consider able more capacity in the public system, easing the strain on overstretched resources and changing lives in a more timely fashion.

The trouble is that tax rebates for health insurance had a minimal impact on how many people take up health insurance. It just becomes a way for wealthy people to avoid tax.  It is a very costly policy that won’t achieve its aim of reducing pressure on the public health system. It just complicates a relatively clean tax system.

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