The leader of the opposition has vowed to scrap the private health insurance rebate means testing "as soon as we can".
Speaking to Macquarie Radio yesterday (February 15), Mr Abbott announced that he was committed to restoring the full rebate – once financial circumstances permitted the Coalition government to do so.
"Private health insurance is in our DNA … it is our raison d'etre, that is why we exist as a political movement, to give more support and encourage for people who want to get ahead," he said.
''So, look, private health insurance is an article of faith for us. We will restore the rebate in government as soon as we can.''
The Gillard government's proposed bill was passed through the lower house yesterday, successful by just one vote.
The reforms will see the rebate currently offered to Australians who take out a private health insurance policy reduced – or in some cases removed – depending on the level of income.
The Medicare Levy surcharge is also set to increase for some higher income earners.
The new legislation will apply from July 1 2012 and is expected to save the government $2.4 billion over the next three years.