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Windsor and Oakeshott likely to block means-test again

14 October 2011 - 5:12pm

Minister for health Nicola Roxon is preparing to reintroduce the health insurance means-test once more.

It is expected that the proposal will be blocked again by key independent ministers Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott.

Despite repeated knock-backs, the government will again try to have legislation passed in order to create billions of dollars in budget savings.

Roxon tells The Age: "Frankly, no one benefits if the private health insurance rebate becomes such a financial monster that much more drastic action has to be taken by a future government.

''Our policy would reduce government subsidies for high-income earners, and increase the penalty if they opt not to take out insurance. This ensures that most of those high-income earners will still opt to stay in.''

Government data predicts that only 0.3 per cent of people with private hospital cover will drop their policy should the bill be passed - as the vast majority understand the value of keeping their cover in place.

The planned means-test would reduce the rebate for singles earning over $80,000 and couples on $160,000.