National says its ACC policy will provide â€˜choice’ on accident compensation, but choice for who?
Employers will be able to choose between a variety of competing (mostly private) insurers, but for the likes of you and me we’ll have to take what we’re given and pay the consequences of our employers’ bad choices.
We won’t get to choose our provider. We won’t be allowed to choose to keep the same provider when we change jobs. We certainly won’t get to choose the efficient government monopoly we currently enjoy.
Like with John Howard’s WorkChoices legislation, the rhetoric of â€˜choice’ promises empowerment but delivers the opposite. The power of choice is removed from democratic institutions under the control of the many, and is vested in private institutions under the control of the few.
When you hear the right try to justify a reform by using the rhetoric of choice, just ask yourself, who is it that gets to do the choosing? Where is the power being taken from, and who is it being given to?
For the vast bulk of the population, National’s ACC policy doesn’t provide choice, it removes it.