Australia’s health system is unfair and muddled and the prescription for its repair depends on the federal government’s approach to private health insurance. In a paper on private cover, Grattan Institute analysts Dr Stephen Duckett and Kristina Nemet warn the sector faces a death spiral if young, healthy people continue to drop their cover. An "unhappy mix" of partially public and partially privatised health care in Australia has led to a system "riddled with inconsistencies and perverse incentives", the paper released on Tuesday says. A new framework is needed but the government must decide whether the purpose of the private system is to complement or substitute for the public one, before considering if further subsidies are the best solution to save the health insurance industry. Taxpayer subsidies total around $9 billion a year, including $6 billion for the private health insurance rebate and $3 billion for inpatient private medical […]