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Health care means test unlikely to pass

24 August 2011 - 6:30pm

Comments made today by opposition health spokesman Peter Dutton have hinted at a possible rejection of the government's legislation to means tests the rebate for private health insurance.

Talking to reporters in Canberra today, Dutton said: "We will continue our opposition to what is a very, very bad policy."

"I think the independents ultimately will support the position of the coalition to stop bad health policy," he added.

Dutton was referring to independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, who stand in the way of the legislation's approval by the lower house.

Oakeshott has previously stated that he believes more focus needs to be placed on the effect of the bill in rural areas.

Both Oakeshott and Windsor have voted against the legislation on two past attempts.

Last week the Greens also indicated their lack of support for a system which would raise the Medicare Surcharge Levy for Australians.

The government's current plan is to means test the private health insurance rebate for individuals earning over $80,000 and families earning more than $160,000.

It also plans to increase the surcharge for wealthy persons who have chosen not to take out private health cover.

The government hopes that if passed, that the legislation will save $100 billion over the next three decades.