Quote Of The Year

Quote Of The Year - Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Macro View – Health And Political News Relevant To E-Health And Health In General.

December 21  Edition.
This really is the last review for the year!
What is horrifying me is just how bad both sides of politics have become and how evidence based policy is just out the window.
We see climate science denialists and luddites somehow determining outcomes based on the level of their ignorant noise vs the science.
Wait till you see the rich evidence for continuing with the myHR, and opt-out! It will be just nonsense I suspect – if it is even presented at all. This has all got just too sad – and the paid flunkies and vested interests just push on!
As I slip into a very sad period of reflection – I hope you can just ignore the utter policy rubbish going on around you and have a great Festive Season. I am not sure I can suspend disbelief for that long!
This from the NY Times says it all.
´ Donald J. Trump’s election has raised a question that few Americans ever imagined asking: Is our democracy in danger? With the possible exception of the Civil War, American democracy has never collapsed; indeed, no democracy as rich or as established as America’s ever has. Yet past stability is no guarantee of democracy’s future survival.
We have spent two decades studying the emergence and breakdown of democracy in Europe and Latin America. Our research points to several warning signs.
The clearest warning sign is the ascent of anti-democratic politicians into mainstream politics. Drawing on a close study of democracy’s demise in 1930s Europe, the eminent political scientist Juan J. Linz designed a “litmus test” to identify anti-democratic politicians. His indicators include a failure to reject violence unambiguously, a readiness to curtail rivals’ civil liberties, and the denial of the legitimacy of elected governments.
Mr. Trump tests positive. In the campaign, he encouraged violence among supporters; pledged to prosecute Hillary Clinton; threatened legal action against unfriendly media; and suggested that he might not accept the election results.
Read and weep for them as well as sadly for us. Be afraid, very afraid!
This letter has gone viral:

Face it. PLU blew it for everyone but themselves

From Keith Craig, London SW7, UK
December 16, 2016
Sir, Your pages overflow with predictions of disaster brought on by the Brexit/Trump axis. Leaving aside the depressing and repetitive pointlessness of this mass guesswork, its underlying assumption — that things were better when People Like Us were in charge — is at best dubious, at worst delusional. Under PLU rule, we have two failed wars and the Middle East in flames, China expansionist, Europe enfeebled, America ineffective and Russia resurgent. At home, we have banking crises, stagnant median incomes, uncontrolled borders, record indebtedness, profiteering by the “professional” classes, and general social polarisation. This is the Eden from which the rude and licentious electorates have expelled us?
Face it. We FT readers had our decades in charge and we blew it for everyone but us. Time for us to do what we’ve been telling the rest of them to do for years, and suck it up. Or go forth and earn the respect that regains power.
Keith Craig
London SW7, UK
As they say, and I said last week, ‘Dorothy, I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore’. Might be good to be in NZ however, but even that is now less certain!
Here are a few other things I have noticed.

National Budget Issues.

Government rules out 'so-called stimulus spending' to boost economy

Amy Remeikis
Published: December 11, 2016 - 12:16PM
The Turnbull government won't be locked into an "artificial deadline" for returning the budget to surplus, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said, ruling out stimulus spending to boost the economy.
Figures released last week showed the economy shrunk by 0.5 per cent last quarter, the biggest drop since the global financial crisis.
Senator Cormann, speaking ahead of the mid-year budget review on December 19, said he was not expecting fourth quarter results to follow suit. Two consecutive negative growth results signify a technical recession.
Since the surprising result, both the government and the opposition have shied away from painting the economy in such a negative light, but Labor has used the figures to attack the Coalition's "economic mismanagement".
11 Dec 2016 - 9:06am

Not locking in surplus timetable: Cormann

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says government decisions need to be fiscally responsible and won't be locked into an artificial surplus deadline.
Source:  AAP
11 Dec 2016 - 9:06 AM  UPDATED 5 HOURS AGO
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says the Turnbull government will get the budget back to surplus as soon as possible but won't lock itself into an artificial deadline.
"We need to make decisions that are both fiscally and economically responsible. Based on the numbers in the budget a return to surplus is forecast, is projected for 2020/21," Senator Cormann told Sky News on Sunday.

Politicised Treasury bites own tail, covers for Turnbull

Ross Gittins
Published: December 11, 2016 - 9:00PM
Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen is right: One of the Abbott-Turnbull government's various acts of economic vandalism is its politicisation of the once-proud federal Treasury.
Among Tony Abbott's first acts upon becoming prime minister in 2013 was to sack the secretary to Treasury, Dr Martin Parkinson.
Even so, Parkinson was left in place for more than a year before being replaced by John Fraser, a retired funds manager, hand-picked by Abbott.
Fraser had risen through the ranks of Treasury under the formative influence of the legendary John Stone, until he left in the early 1990s to make his fortune in the money market.

Aussies on the dole reject jobs because they were offered ‘unrealistic’ work

index&t_product=DailyTelegraph&td_device=desktopOlivia Lambert, news.com.au
December 13, 2016 6:18am
index&t_product=DailyTelegraph&td_device=desktopWOULD you accept a job with hours that meant you’d never see your kids?
Or one where you’d have to uproot your entire family for just three months?
What about one that gave you barely enough money to live?
These are the realities Aussies on welfare are facing and why many feel they have to reject jobs they’re offered.
The Daily Telegraph revealed on Monday more than 35,000 Australians receiving Centrelink payments turned down work or quit new roles in the past 12 months.

Labor on mission to wreck budget: Morrison

Updated: 10:40 am, Monday, 12 December 2016
Labor has warned the country's triple-A credit rating would be at risk if the federal government backs away from returning to budget surplus in 2020/21.
But Treasurer Scott Morrison has accused the opposition of not wanting to fix the budget, being on a 'wreck-the-joint sort of mission'.
'I think we can expect that for the next two years,' Mr Morrison told the Ray Hadley program on Sydney's 2GB radio on Monday.
The treasurer took time out of a busy schedule putting together his mid-year budget review, which he will hand down next Monday.

Knock back a job, no dole: Morrison

Colin Brinsden, AAP Economics Correspondent, Australian Associated Press
December 12, 2016 3:30pm
Treasurer Scott Morrison has signalled a crackdown on dole bludgers as he puts together his mid-budget review, due to be handed down next Monday.
He also lashed out at Labor for not wanting to fix the budget, accusing it of being on a "wreck-the-joint sort of mission".
But the opposition is equally concerned of an increased threat to the nation's top-tier credit rating after Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said he wouldn't be locked into an artificial budget surplus deadline.
  • Updated Dec 12 2016 at 11:00 PM

The notion of evidence-based policy in Australia is dead

by Richard Denniss
The notion of evidence-based policy in Australia is dead. While it's been in poor health for some time, it was finally killed by the Coalition backbench last week and replaced with "gut instinct" and "the pub test".
When Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce was recently quizzed about the lack of a business case for a dam he wanted Australian taxpayers to fund he retorted that he prided himself on being a "doer" not a "fluffer" and that he wanted to "get stuck in". What could go wrong?
Last week Senator Cory Bernardi and George Christensen's insights into energy policy trumped the considered advice of the government's own appointees to the Climate Change Authority and that of the chief scientist. Admittedly, all of those advisers do accept the scientific evidence of human-induced climate change, which renders them "biased" in the eyes of many in the Coalition. Policy advisers who take science seriously? Where will it end?

RIP Treasury’s frank and fearless advice

By Michael Pascoe | Yahoo7 Finance – 20 hours ago
One of our best climate scientists once told me there is a scientific basis to the two per cent of scientists who disagree with the other 98 per cent and the evidence on the impact of greenhouse gases on climate change. However, the scientific bit isn’t in the beliefs of the two per cent, it’s that on any such issue in a community there will be roughly two per cent of people who disagree.
Danger can arise if that two per cent finds fertile ground among the broader, easily-impressionable population for their strange views – if a powerful demagogue takes them up or if they are promoted for other ideological or mercenary purposes.
Thus our federal Treasury Department is flirting with becoming to fiscal policy what One Nation is to climate change – the purveyor of oddball, two-percent views that are a danger to society. While One Nation plays host to the strange little Senator Malcolm Roberts, Treasury has its secretary, John Fraser, hosting a decidedly odd dogma of a fringe economist who thinks fiscal stimulus when recession threatens is a bad thing. Yes, Treasury is holding hands with the Tea Party.

Report spells out impact of coal closure on household bills amid political brawl over energy

Adam Morton, James Massola
Published: December 14, 2016 - 12:15AM
The political fight over electricity prices will be given fresh ammunition by a new report warning the abrupt closure of the giant Hazelwood coal plant is expected to push up yearly electricity bills by an average $78 across Australia over the next two years.
It comes as energy ministers meet on Wednesday, and as an unprecedented coalition of business and industry bodies, green groups, unions and charities urge Canberra and the states to fix Australia's faltering energy systems, warning failure will lead to a national crisis.
The report by the Australian Energy Market Commission found Hazelwood's closure in March would have varying impact across the country, but would increase wholesale electricity prices on the eastern seaboard as Victoria loses about 20 per cent of its generation capacity.

New Government taskforce to crackdown on hidden economy

December 14, 20168:06am
AAP News Corp Australia Network
THE Turnbull Government is set to crackdown on cash-in-hand jobs and other untaxed income with a new task force established to find billions of dollars for budget repair.
The black economy taskforce, set to be revealed at next week’s midyear budget update, will consider the future of the $100 note and bans on cash payments over a certain level among other measures, the Australian Financial Review reports.
It’s estimated the black economy, or hidden economy of untaxed payments, could amount to about $21 billion or 1.5 per cent of GDP.
“We are talking about very significant revenue. I won’t put a specific number on it ... but even if you got a reasonable percentage of that we are talking billions of dollars,” Revenue and Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer told the Australian Financial Review on Wednesday.

Scott Morrison makes pitch to battlers in regions

  • Simon Benson
  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM December 14, 2016
Scott Morrison has ­directed the Productivity Commission to identify as a matter of urgency the hardest-hit regions and towns most at risk of job losses and economic decline as the mining investment boom ends.
In a direct pitch to disaffected communities that the government fears could be lost to One Nation, on a belief that they are being left behind economically, the terms of reference will include the controversial issue of skilled migrant workers, typically those on 457 visas.
The Treasurer has insisted the Productivity Commission deliver its interim findings before the May budget, in a signal the government will be aiming to roll out a major regional policy program next year focused on infrastructure.
  • Updated Dec 13 2016 at 11:00 PM

Scott Morrison issues appeal for AAA rating

Treasurer Scott Morrison will issue an appeal for Australia's AAA credit rating by telling restive agencies the government is exceeding their demands on budget repair.
And he will urge them to consider that a significant amount of foreign debt is "vital" for Australia's prosperity.
In a speech ahead of next week's mid-year budget update, which could see Australia lose its AAA credit rating, the Treasurer will also flag increasing foreign debt by borrowing for infrastructure and other productivity-enhancing investment but only after so-called bad debt is under control.
"Once borrowing for recurrent expenditure is under control, we will have more headroom to take on and deploy so-called good debt," he will tell the Australasian Finance and Banking conference on Wednesday.

Stimulus ruled out as top mandarins clash

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM December 14, 2016

David Uren

Scott Morrison is ruling out the use of cash handouts or other budget stimulus measures to support the economy, amid differing views between two of the government’s top mandarins.
The Treasurer says a further boost to infrastructure investment will have to wait until the government stops having to fund its daily spending with more debt.
Mr Morrison’s intervention follows calls from both the IMF and the OECD for the government to consider stimulus spending to support the economy, a strategy that the head of the Prime Minister’s department, Martin Parkinson, believes was successful in insulating Australia from the global financial crisis, but about which Treasury secretary John Fraser has doubts.

Credit rating agencies warn Scott Morrison ahead of MYEFO budget update

December 13, 20169:58am

Economy contracts for first time in 5.5 years

Staff writers News Corp Australia Network
CREDIT ratings agencies have put Treasurer Scott Morrison on notice, warning they won’t accept unrealistic forecasts in next week’s budget update.
It comes after last week’s national accounts data showed Australia has just come through its worst three-month period of economic growth since the Global Financial Crisis.
Moody’s senior vice president for sovereign ratings Marie Diron told The Australian the ratings agency would be looking at the savings measures proposed at next Monday’s midyear economic and fiscal outlook and the likelihood of them being passed under the current Parliament.
S&P Global Ratings has already put Australia’s AAA credit rating on “negative watch” amid concerns Parliament would be unable to pass savings or revenue measures.

Fed lifts, sees three increases in 2017

Published: December 15, 2016 - 6:21AM
The US Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter point and signalled a faster pace of increases in 2017 as the Trump administration takes over with promises to boost growth through tax cuts, spending and deregulation.
The rate increase, regarded as a virtual certainty by financial markets in the wake of a string of generally strong economic reports, raised the target federal funds rate 25 basis points to between 0.50 per cent and 0.75 per cent.
"In view of realised and expected labour market conditions and inflation, the committee decided to raise the target range," the central bank's policy-setting committee said in its unanimous statement after a two-day meeting.
  • Updated Dec 15 2016 at 12:00 AM

Rating agencies are losing patience with Australia's debt track

by The Australian Financial Review
Australia is now entering the territory where we could lose our AAA sovereign credit rating – for the first time since the banana republic year of 1986 – virtually any day. It could happen if Monday's mid-year budget update reveals a weaker outlook for fiscal repair, as is expected. Or it might be delayed until after the May budget, if the Senate refuses to pass more of the measures required to keep on track for a budget surplus by the early 2020s: itself an unambitious target.
The downgrade has loomed since just after the July 2 election, when Standard & Poor's put Australia's AAA rating on negative watch. As The Australian Financial Review has pointed out, the international ratings agencies have since lost further patience with what Wayne Swan revealed as a "temporary" budget deficit back in 2009.
The foreign creditors who sustain Australia's living standards will no longer tolerate any further deterioration due to a weaker revenue position, such as if wages growth and company profit growth surprises on the downside. They will instead demand that parliament offsets this with further spending cuts or tax increases.

Good debt? Hopefully this means the end of the dumbest economic narrative of our times

We could hope that Scott Morrison has had a change of heart on debt because he has discovered the worth of fiscal stimulus and running a deficit
 ‘The problem for Scott Morrison is that the budget is very poor at differentiating the “good” debt from the bad.’ Photograph: Paul Miller/AAP
It is excellent that finally the treasurer has realised that there is good and bad debt, but he shouldn’t stop there. Rather than just have us guessing how much good or bad debt there is, the budget papers should tell us.
After years of railing against government debt, Scott Morrison has discovered that actually debt is not only good, but also necessary.
In a speech to the Australasian finance and banking conference, Mr Morrison – after noting that a vast majority of Australia’s debt is private – argued that “it is patently obvious there are good uses of debt and there are bad uses of debt. Bad debt is debt use for recurrent spending purposes”.

Australia’s jobless rate rises to 5.7 per cent November

index&t_product=Mercury&td_device=desktopAAP, staff writers, News Corp Australia Network
December 15, 2016 1:54pm
index&t_product=Mercury&td_device=desktopMICHAELIA Cash says today’s employment figures are actually very positive, despite the jobless rate rising to 5.7 per cent in November.
The Federal Employment Minister brushed off criticism of the Turnbull Government following the release of the Australian Bureau of Statistics data today.
Despite the rise in the jobless rate, the Minister said the ABS had confirmed the number of Australians in employment was actually at a record level.

How Scott Morrison discovered good and bad debt on the way to MYEFO

Michael Pascoe
Published: December 16, 2016 - 10:07AM
A funny thing happened on the way to Monday's mid-year economic and fiscal outlook (MYEFO) – Treasurer Scott Morrison discovered there is both good and bad government debt.
Congratulations are in order as it represents a major break with the Abbott/Hockey dogma of all government debt being evil. 
Unfortunately, ScoMo's epiphany is a bit late and its proclamation rather half-hearted.
Despite acknowledging the benefit of using "good" debt to invest in infrastructure, Morrison said he wouldn't be pursuing it until all the "bad" debt was under control. That could be some time.
  • Updated Dec 16 2016 at 9:30 PM

Brace for worst on AAA credit rating, cabinet budget gang told

Treasurer Scott Morrison has told cabinet's powerful budget razor gang to prepare for the worst on the AAA rating, suggesting it will be lost barring some unexpected change that sways credit agencies at the last minute.
In what would be a severe blow to the Coalition's credibility after more than three years managing the budget, the downgrade is now seen inside the government as a very real threat.
The eight-member cabinet economic review committee, or ERC, is understood to have been told to expect that ratings agencies haven't been swayed by recent efforts of Parliament or the prospect that a rebound in commodity prices will rescue the budget.

It’s beginning to look a lot like a credit rating downgrade

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM December 17, 2016

Judith Sloan

The anticipation is close to unbearable, but there are not too many sleeps to go. No, I’m not talking about Christmas but the release of the mid-year economic and fiscal outlook. It’s coming out on Monday.
This year’s MYEFO is more interesting than most because the rating agencies clearly are breathing down Scott Morrison’s neck. There is a strong possibility the agencies — Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s are the important ones — will downgrade the federal government’s much-prized AAA rating. A potential nightmare for the government is that once the rating agencies have decided to mark us down, it can be done quickly and before Christmas. The Treasurer has been speaking directly and indirectly to the agencies, imploring them to wait and see.

'It's laughable': Government slammed for housing affordability probe that proposes no changes

Michael Koziol
Published: December 16, 2016 - 7:38PM
With the median Sydney house price eclipsing $1 million and our major cities regularly ranked among the least affordable in the world in which to buy a home, you might think Australia has a housing affordability problem.
But not the Turnbull government's 20-month inquiry into home ownership.
A Coalition-dominated parliamentary committee handed down a report on home ownership on Friday which - in a rare departure from the norm - failed to make any recommendations to the government for reform.

Health Budget Issues.

Health budget storm as spending to surge past $25bn

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM December 13, 2016

Sean Parnell

A perfect health funding storm is looming for the Turnbull government, with Medicare expenditure growth set to surge at the same time as the states demand billions of dollars more in public hospital funding and GPs push for an end to the rebate freeze.
Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison are under pressure to reinvest in the health system at the expense of the budget bottom line, after the Coalition’s first term was partly defined by health cuts, which prompted Labor’s “Mediscare” election campaign.
New figures provided to a budget estimates committee show that Medicare expenditure growth, currently hovering about 3.5 per cent, is forecast to jump to 6.13 per cent in 2019-20, when overall outlays will exceed $25 billion for the first time. Medicare expenditure is forecast to reach $21.8bn this financial year.

Federal public hospital funding rising faster than other health areas

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM December 14, 2016

Sean Parnell

Public hospital funding is increasing at a higher rate than any other area of federal health expenditure, edging closer to the amount spent on Medicare each year.
Figures given to a budget estimates committee show annual growth in public hospital funding, now about 4 per cent, will exceed 5.5 per cent for each of the next three years.
Growth in funding the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and the private health insurance rebate is set to be more subdued, possibly reflecting reforms made by successive governments.
The Australian yesterday revealed the commonwealth faces a perfect storm in health funding, with Medicare expenditure growth set to surge at the same time as the states demand billions of dollars more in public hospital funding and GPs push for an end to the rebate freeze.
14 December, 2016

Health Care Homes trials facing boycott

Posted by julie lambert
The RACGP has disowned Health Minister Sussan Ley’s Health Care Homes scheme, saying it bears no resemblance to the plan it championed to fight Australia’s rising chronic disease epidemic.
College president Dr Bastian Seidel has called on members to boycott trials of the scheme unless the minister puts off the planned July starting date and embarks on a redesign which includes increased funding.
Minister Ley last week extended the deadline for general practices to signal interest in joining the trials, allowing them an extra week until December 22.
Meanwhile, GP groups have demanded the trials be suspended for at least three to six months.

Child dental scheme saved, but with less cover

Julie Power
Published: December 15, 2016 - 3:42PM
The federal government's child dental scheme will survive, but in a watered-down state that will provide only $700 every two years in treatment to children in low-income families.
Last year, the Minister for Health and Aged Care Sussan Ley announced the government would merge the Child Dental Benefits Scheme (CDBS) with an adult scheme.
She had told experts that she believed CDBS was inefficient.
However, in a backdown on Thursday, Ms Ley said the plan would not proceed "because some states did not support" it. 

Coalition dumps $1.7bn public dental scheme after deal with states falls through

Government moves to cut maximum benefits for children in existing scheme, but Labor and Greens say they will vote down changes
Labor have raised concerns over dental care affordability after Sussan Ley announced new federal funding arrangements for dental services. Photograph: Kelly Redinger / Design Pics Inc
The Turnbull government has dumped the $1.7bn child and adult public dental scheme (CAPDS) proposed in its pre-election budget after it failed to get agreement from the states.
Instead the government has moved to cut the maximum benefits for children in the existing scheme by $300 over two years.
However the cut could be blocked in the Senate when parliament returns as Labor and the Greens have already committed to vote to disallow the changes. The opposing parties would need four crossbenchers to prevent the move.

Spending decline

The impact of price disclosure has been again confirmed by Department of Health data forecasting falling PBS expenditure  

The latest figures reveal Government spending on the PBS is forecast to fall by $800 million in 2016-17. According to the Department, government spending on the PBS of $11.2 billion in 2015-16 will fall to $10.4 billion in the following financial year.
The data was released among department responses to questions taken on notice at the Senate Supplementary Estimates hearing are due on Friday 2 December 2016.
Greens leader Senator Richard Di Natale had requested whole-of-government health-related estimates data.

Coalition dumps $1.7bn public dental scheme after deal with states falls through

Government moves to cut maximum benefits for children in existing scheme, but Labor and Greens say they will vote down changes
Labor have raised concerns over dental care affordability after Sussan Ley announced new federal funding arrangements for dental services. Photograph: Kelly Redinger / Design Pics Inc
The Turnbull government has dumped the $1.7bn child and adult public dental scheme (CAPDS) proposed in its pre-election budget after it failed to get agreement from the states.
Instead the government has moved to cut the maximum benefits for children in the existing scheme by $300 over two years.
However the cut could be blocked in the Senate when parliament returns as Labor and the Greens have already committed to vote to disallow the changes. The opposing parties would need four crossbenchers to prevent the move.

Coalition drops $2.1bn public dental subsidy scheme

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM December 16, 2016

Sean Parnell

Plans for a $2.1 billion public dental scheme — announced by the Turnbull government eight months ago — were yesterday abandoned, with critics saying thousands of vulnerable children will miss out on subsidised care.
Health Minister Sussan Ley yesterday said the Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme would not proceed next year ­because of lack of ­support.
The federal government has instead proposed an extended nat­ional partnership with the states, and to help cover costs will reduce the maximum benefits available under the existing Child Dental Benefits Schedule from $1000 to $700.

Australia's primary care system ranks low on global list

Antony Scholefield | 12 December, 2016 | 
Australia's health system ranks as one of the worst for access to GP care compared with 32 other countries, an international study claims.
While the debate in Canberra has focused on the record bulk-billing rates for GP services, a European study looked at the proportion of patients who said they put off GP visits because of the cost.
When compared with 32 other countries — including Slovenia, Malta, Poland, Turkey and New Zealand — Australia ranked 27th for GP access.
Researchers found that 14.8% of Australians avoided visiting their GP due to cost constraints.

Headspace consults cost up to $1000, reveals report

16 December, 2016 Michael Woodhead 
Headspace produces only marginal improvements in youth mental health outcomes at an average cost of $340 per visit, a government-commissioned evaluation shows.
The report of 67 headspace centres, which was quietly published by the Federal Department of Health in May this year, comes to light six months after the government announced a nationwide expansion of the high-profile scheme.
The report shows the cost of headspace consults ranged from $136 to more $1000 per visit between individual centres in 2013/14.
16 Dec 2016 - 6:14pm

Senate may overturn govt dental cuts

Federal government cuts to dental services may be short-lived with Nick Xenophon considering joining Labor and the Greens to overturn them in the Senate.
Source:  AAP 16 Dec 2016 - 6:14 PM  UPDATED 2 HOURS AGO
Turnbull government cuts to dental services announced just days out from Christmas may be short-lived with the crucial Nick Xenophon bloc "seriously considering" joining forces with Labor and the Greens to disallow it in the Senate.
It's feared hundreds of thousands of Australians will miss out on dental care after the government slashed funding for adult dental services, providing $97 million per year to the states and territories under the national partnership agreement, compared with the $155 million provided in 2015/16.

Health Insurance Issues.

Under-30s turning their backs on private health cover

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM December 13, 2016

Sarah-Jane Tasker

Younger Australians are increasingly turning away from private health insurance, preferring to try their luck in the public system than pay for a policy they don’t feel they need.
Scott Wilson, chief executive of comparison website iSelect, said data for the first four months of the financial year showed afford­ability concerns continued to drive policy churn, which was likely to increase ahead of premium ­increases next year.
But he said the major concern for the sector was young people no longer felt they needed to buy health insurance.
More than 1.3 million Australians visit iSelect each year to compare health insurance and Mr Wilson said it was clear the sector was facing severe pressure from the under-31 demographic.
I look forward to comments on all this!

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