Health insurers shouldn’t be able to pick and choose

12 Nov 2015

In an interview on ABC radio this week, AMA President, Professor Brian Owler, warned against the Government allowing private health insurers to charge smokers higher premiums, saying that this would ultimately lead to a US-style system that would push people out of private health insurance.

During the interview, Professor Owler highlighted the risk of this approach snowballing to include other lifestyle and genetic factors and stressed the importance of universal access to health cover. He expressed concern at the Health Minister’s comments about health insurers being restricted by regulation, saying that the regulations serve to protect the public and the public health system and are there for a good reason.

“[The Government’s] got to get back to going through and considering policy in depth and in detail. Consulting people that do have knowledge and expertise in this field before it’s just floated out in the public like a thought bubble. We need to get back to proper policy in health care,” Professor Owler said.

AMA Transcript: Professor Owler, 2UE, Private Health Insurance, 9 November 2015