Tony Abbot has pledged that over the next decade, a Coalition Government would restore the private health insurance rebate, as soon as they responsibly can.
Labor succeeded in legislating a means testing of the rebate last year after several failed attempts. There were further cuts this year, with the rebate indexed on a fixed basis, rather than tracking the rise in health costs.
The private health insurance rebate has been the fasting growing component of the health budget over the past decade, rising at an annual rate of 6.3% after inflation.
Treasury estimates show the latest changes to the rebate would save $2.1 billion by 2022-23 while figures provided by Labour suggest the cost of fully restoring the rebate in 2014-15 would be $1.2 billion, soaring to $4.4 billion by 2022-23.