If you vote National, United Future, or ACT, you will be voting for the ACC system to be privatised. Consequences of this include:
– $200 million in profits flowing offshore, according to John Key’s former employers Merril Lynch
– higher levies on most workers, as private insurers cherry-pick the most profitable for themselves, leaving the rest to be carried by the public insurer
– currently, the work account subsidises accidents that fall under other accounts. Privatisation will mean these claims have to be funded entirely from tax and other levies like car registration.
– less certain coverage. Private insurers make their money by not paying out claims
– less money for accident prevention. As a monopoly, ACC benefits from accident prevented, so it invests heavily in accident prevention. Private insurers would only have a fraction of the market each, so would only receive a fraction of the benefit from investment in accident reduction. A ‘tragedy of the commons’-type situation.
– more complexity in changing jobs. Different employers will have different insurers, changing obs will require changing insurer.
– getting a job may be more difficult if you are more likely to have an accident if that means higher levies for your prospective employer, eg if you are a young male or overweight.
– private insurance increases the administrative burden for healthcare providers.
– private insurers will try to minimise payouts and force other insurers to make the payouts instead. These boundary issues lead to more court cases. This type of personal injury litigation has choked the US court system.
-if your insurance company collapses when you have an ongoing claim, what will happen to your payments?
If you vote Labour, Green, Progressive (and, presumably, Maori), you will be voting to keep ACC in public ownership and this world-leading system intact. By moving out the point when the pubic system takes over liability for accidents that were covered by private insurers during the brief privatisation period in the 1990s, Labour will reduce the cost of ACC, allowing employer levies and car registration to drop 20% from next year.