Debate over the federal government's plan to means test the 30 per cent private health insurance rebate has begun, with support from independent MPs mounting.
The legislation was introduced to parliament yesterday (February 9) and deliberation in the lower house is expected to continue next week.
The proposed bill looks to reduce the rebate available to higher income earners – or in some cases remove it all together – while also increasing the Medicare levy for those without private health insurance cover.
Health minister Tanya Plibersek is currently seeking three votes from the possible six crossbenchers to get the bill through – with Greens MP Adam Brandt, as well as independents Rob Oakeshott and Andrew Wilkie the most likely candidates.
"We're almost there – I am inclined to support it but I am not able to confirm my support just yet," Mr Wilkie said yesterday.
It is likely that the deciding vote will come down to Mr Oakeshott – who is yet to confirm his position, but told AAP last week that he was leaning towards backing the proposal.