The proposal to means test the private health insurance rebate has been criticised by the opposition.
According to shadow minister for health and ageing Peter Dutton, the federal government has "broken another promise" by introducing the bill to parliament yesterday (February 9).
"The legislation to means test the private health insurance rebate rips up Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard’s promise to protect private health insurance and it will result in cost increases for households of up to 43 per cent," he said yesterday.
Mr Dutton asserted that passing the legislation would not only have a significant impact on household budgets, but also add further pressure to the already-strained public hospital system.
"It is estimated that if this legislation is passed, 1.6 million Australians will drop private hospital cover over the next five years and another 4.3 million Australians will downgrade their level of coverage," Mr Dutton added.
"As millions of people leave private health insurance, the cost of that insurance will rise even more and put further pressure on our public hospital system."
The Coalition will be looking for support from the crossbenchers as debate continues in the lower house next week.