Further to the previous Croakey post on the Medicare Select proposal, health policy Jennifer Doggett has some questions.

She writes:

“The Inside Story article is great – it really brings out some of the complexities of this issue and the unresolved issues in the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission recommendation. I hope it gets read by the DoHA team tasked with managing the G’ment’s response to the report and of course Roxon and her advisers.

What I find interesting is that in the NHHRC report and much of the commentary on it, there seems to be an assumption that our current system of one public insurer (Medicare) equals a lack of choice, innovation and diversity within health care and that a system of multiple, private insurers would be better at identifying and meeting consumer needs.

No-one seems to be asking why Medicare (or an alternative single public insurer) couldn’t deliver some of the benefits claimed for Medicare Select in the NHHRC Report.

There’s no intrinsic reason why a public insurance system can’t provide more choice and be more responsive to consumers – or is there?”

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