Free market efficiency in health – not

Written By: - Date published: 7:05 am, March 15th, 2017 - 37 comments
Categories: capitalism, health, socialism, us politics - Tags: , , , , ,

Health care in the USA is very much in the news at the moment. That country likes to consider themselves the self appointed leaders of free market capitalism, but it’s well known that their market based health system is a train wreck compared to many state run systems. This piece (from a couple of economists) makes the point again:

Improving U.S. Healthcare and Coverage

As economists, we are genuinely partial to market-based solutions that allow individuals to make tradeoffs between quality and price, while competition pushes suppliers to contain costs. But, in the case of health care, we are skeptical that such a solution can be made workable. This leads us to propose a gradual lowering of the age at which people become eligible for Medicare, while promoting supplier competition.

Before getting to the details of our proposal, we begin with striking evidence of the inefficiency of the U.S. health care system. The following chart (from OurWorldInData.org) displays life expectancy at birth on the vertical axis against real health expenditure per capita on the horizontal axis. The point is that the U.S. line in red lies well below the cost-performance frontier established by a range of advanced economies (and some emerging economies, too). Put differently, the United States spends more per person but gets less for its money.

It really doesn’t matter how you measure U.S. health care outlays, you will come away with the same conclusion: the U.S. system is extremely inefficient compared to that of other countries.

Looking around the world, the healthcare delivery systems that have advanced longevity most at lowest cost—those at the top left of the first plot […] tend to be universal and with a substantial government role that establishes a statutory standard of insurance. At one end of this spectrum, Britain’s National Health Service is both the sole payer and provider—analogous to the workings of the U.S. Veterans Administration. Other systems offer a combination of statutory and private components: in the case of Germany, the former is several times larger than the latter. Our view is that the provision of universal care in the United States will require that the government assume a larger role than it has thus far.

The data behind that main graph, and a discussion of some possible explanations, can be found at OurWorldInData.org. Most of the countries that outperform the USA have state run / universal health care. Of those that do not, it would be interesting to know what legislative frameworks constrain private provision.

The idea of free market efficiency is not nearly as powerful or universal as its (often fanatical) proponents would have us believe. The sorry state of the USA’s health system is yet another compelling example of its limitations.

37 comments on “Free market efficiency in health – not”

  1. Andre 1

    Fundamentally the US model adds enormous administrative cost with the insurance model. There’s all the administration overhead, marketing, and profit on the insurance side. But it may be even worse for the administrative inefficiencies it imposes on the healthcare providers even just for routine stuff let alone the time sucked up if there is a dispute with insurers.

    • Andre 1.1

      There’s always voices in the US calling for single payer, even among conservatives. Here’s one that seems to have Trump’s ear, at least sometimes.

      http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/3/14/14923784/christopher-ruddy-medicaid

      I’m really disappointed at how many US pollies missed their opportunity when Trump said “who knew healthcare was so complicated”. They should have been shouting “wanna make it simpler and cheaper? Go single payer. Medicare for all”

      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        14? million just lost access to healthcare, Trump delivered, he’s making it better, more inefficient more restricted. Trumps American dream.

        • Andre 1.1.1.1

          Has something just happened? Don’t see it on any news websites. As far as I know, the state of play is Ryan has shown his bill, the Congressional Budget Office has said it’s a steaming pile, more and more Repugs in the House and Senate are turning and saying they won’t vote for it when it comes up.

    • Sacha 1.2

      And the NZ govt wants to apply the same approach to privatising our social services. What could possibly go wrong?

      • Andre 1.2.1

        I’m more worried about how the US model is steadily creeping into health in NZ, stealthily under the radar. The big steps proposed for other services seem to spark more publicity and opposition.

        • Michael 1.2.1.1

          I agree. Labour must defend the public health system robustly, even if that means telling the people they will have to pay for it through progressive taxation.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2

        Of course they do – the US healthcare system generates massive profits for the bludging shareholders.

        • AmaKiwi 1.2.2.1

          Draco, you’re spot on.

          Follow the money.

          Obama Care had to make huge compromises to be enacted. Add together the lobby bribes of the insurance companies, drug companies, and private hospital industry and you have mountains of money buying the legislators.

          “Sad”

          No. Criminal bribery.

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    I heard that there is plenty of money but it is grossly misallocated. I was then given examples of outrageous G&A expenses.

  3. Bill 3

    NZ – an equal opportunity to receive a diagnosis (maybe). An equal opportunity to go on a waiting list…and then there are the outcomes.

    Private health insurance? Sorted.
    No private health insurance? How’s that wait feeling?

    I could bang on about this, but will limit myself to one instance about two people I know requiring hip replacements. One person, insured, done in a jiffy. The other, whose condition is more marked, but who has no insurance, has been waiting for yonks while their condition and general well being has deteriorated.

    At the moment they struggle to venture beyond the door and their body is fucking out because of the physical stresses and strains associated with compensating for the knackered hip joint. (I won’t go into any suspected opiate addiction resulting from the time spent waiting…waiting….waiting.)

    Still. Another six months and apparently the operation will finally be done…and any secondary complications may or may not iron themselves out after that. Or not.

    Healthcare should be about equal outcomes, not equal fucking opportunity.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone with private health insurance just cashed in or up or whatever as a mark of solidarity and as a way to insist that this bullshit direction of travel for healthcare in NZ is not. fucking. acceptable…hm?

    Yup. I know. Not happening. Every person with private health insurance will have a reason for marking themselves out as a exception…

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone with private health insurance just cashed in or up or whatever as a mark of solidarity and as a way to insist that this bullshit direction of travel for healthcare in NZ is not.

      If everyone had health insurance the wait for everyone would be just as long as the public list.

      You see, the pricing system that the market relies upon is actually there to price people out of the market.

      If people weren’t priced out of the market then the demand for doctors and hospitals and nurses would increase and thus wages would have to go up.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        The US system and the NZ health insurance system proves that we cannot have an effective market in healthcare. It’s a natural demand monopoly – everyone needs it and a market is about pricing people out of getting that service.

        Healthcare, and many other modern services, isn’t something people should be priced out of getting.

    • AmaKiwi 3.2

      The rich would make sure waiting times disappeared if they did not have the fall back position of going privately.

    • miravox 3.3

      Agree Bill.

      I bang on about similar experiences in chronic care – specifically for conditions that requires ‘tweaking’ of medicine to control pain and progression of disease. I’ve known of public hospital care where the gap between appointments was 9 months. Pay for private care and the gap was the recommended 3 months.

      I’ve no idea how a person is meant to manage knowing that the constant stream of cumulative delays means they are in constant pain that affects all aspects of their lives and with the anxiety and stress of knowing the delay is not just enduring more pain, but also worsening the disease outcome.

  4. Tuppence Shrewsbury 4

    New Zealand still has a market in healthcare. And it’s very advantageous for consumers because of the nature of it. Health care is supplied at low cost by the state that’s pricing model is semi subscription on semi occurrence based, with subscriptions being arranged at a macro level. The othe key part of this is upstream where the state has almost monopsony like control In health. For 90% of health products it is the only purchaser, it is therefore the price setter.

    That’s not to say this is the most efficient model, but it works well with insurance companies having strong competition in the state itself and the state having its short comings compensated for by private medical care.

    It’s an efficient method of providing a public good. Probably why we see it mirrored in education too. If only we could admire it’s benefits and extend to other areas?

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Bollocks – see above.

    • AB 4.2

      “and the state having its short comings compensated for by private medical care”
      That compensation of shortcomings is available only to the few who can afford private insurance.
      As these people also tend to be the powerful/decision-makers, the trend is towards the gradual degradation of the publicly-available services. Mainly because the powerful are happy to take resources off the public sector in order to award themselves the tax cuts with which they can pay their private health insurance premiums

    • Tophat 4.3

      Health is for those that can afford it. Our health system is great until you actually become sick.
      Our doctors only diagnose what their governing dhb can afford.
      Going on a wait list to get on a wait list is a very real issue, but being placed on that initial wait list is real work. Being told that having surgery would be, “contraindicative,” to your health is code for, “we have no money to carry out your surgery.”

      pharmac is great if you need paracetamol ,antibiotics etc but try to get a medicine that is not generic/commonly used, you will pay for it in total yourself.

      Acc is as useless as tits on a bull. All it does is deplete our access to proper accident insurance and reasonable compensation. They will try to break you by denying treatment costs and income compensation, sending you broke, forcing claimants to settle for far less than they deserve.

      While there may be a conscious effort to make going to the GP more affordable, only the looks have changed. It is certainly less expensive to catch flu these days but get truly sick and you’ll find the real costs of illness in NZ.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.3.1

        They will try to break you by denying treatment costs and income compensation, sending you broke, forcing claimants to settle for far less than they deserve.

        That sounds remarkably like the US health insurance industry as reported in Michael Moore’s Sicko.

        ACC, as envisioned and put into practice initially, was great. Neo-liberalism for the last thirty years has screwed it over thoroughly.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    That life expectancy chart is out of date: Life Expectancy In U.S. Drops For First Time In Decades, Report Finds

    One of the fundamental ways scientists measure the well-being of a nation is tracking the rate at which its citizens die and how long they can be expected to live.

    So the news out of the federal government Thursday is disturbing: The overall U.S. death rate has increased for the first time in a decade, according to an analysis of the latest data. And that led to a drop in overall life expectancy for the first time since 1993, particularly among people younger than 65.

  6. AmaKiwi 6

    As important as “life expectancy” is “reduced quality of life.”

    A good healthcare system helps people to be productive and self-maintaining until shortly before they die. A bad healthcare system has many people bed-ridden and/or disabled for many years before they die.

    The personal and social cost difference between the two is enormous.

  7. Paul Campbell 7

    When I lived in the US I had “good” health insurance – that meant that the main gatekeeper for me getting extended healthcare (more than a trip to the GP) was the insurance company’s agent on the phone who had to OK everything.

    That meant that every doctor or dentist’s office had at least one person (roughly per doctor in a multi-doctor practice) in the office who’s sole job was arguing with insurance companies about money) – there’s an inefficiency right there – two people (one at each end of the phone) that we just don’t have in our health system.

    The result is that it’s very hard to see a specialist in the US – took me a year of agony to get a gallstones diagnosis in the US, compared with my wife in NZ who took less than a month – on the other hand once I got my diagnosis I was in to hospital within a few days while my wife took close to a year – why? because in the US there are surgeons (and body scanners, etc etc) sitting idle waiting for work, while in NZ we have queues which mean that those expensive, scarce, resources busy all the time. Again far more efficient.

    Of course I’m arguing that queues for healthcare are a good thing – provided they’re not too long or course

    • Phil 7.1

      …in the US there are surgeons (and body scanners, etc etc) sitting idle waiting for work, while in NZ we have queues which mean that those expensive, scarce, resources busy all the time. Again far more efficient.

      There’s something you don’t see every day;
      an argument that spare capacity in critical societal infrastructure is a bad thing.

      *shrugs*

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        Cars are used, on average, 4% of the time.

        Does this, in your opinion, show good or poor use of scarce resources?

      • greywarshark 7.1.2

        What do you mean course? If I had to wait a long time in pain as you said you did I’d be course, as would befit someone who has often written on a blog with a love of freedom of expression.

        • greywarshark 7.1.2.1

          Probably I mean coarse. And I am not saying provision of health services is a laughing matter. I have a book on the USA lack-of system or rather it’s monetising of health. In a nation devoted to business and making money, there isn’t much that isn’t up for grabs, from principles to your liver, your health and welfare and everything that you need to live.

          And because money is so much the core of the society, if you can get past the Crime 101 stage and become a Master at it, with lots of dosh you will have broken through the picket fence pale. No longer beyond it you will have become one of the in-group too wealthy to be chastised satisfactorily and with a back door for slipping away. And so bent health professionals with money are vindicated by their wealth and hard to charge or change, despite the attempts of those who still have principles of public good.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      Of course I’m arguing that queues for healthcare are a good thing – provided they’re not too long or course

      Yep, having a short queue shows high efficiency and the right amount of resources being put to use. Having either no queue or a long queue shows either poor use of resources or not enough resources respectively.

  8. RedLogix 8

    Watched Michael Moore’s latest film Where to Invade Next? last night. Hilarious, poignant and Moore at his clever best.

    I’ve always maintained the USA is an extraordinarily diverse nation; the ‘Land of the Free’ … you are free to be pretty much anything you damn well please. There are indeed many Americas, so it is wrong to make dogmatic generalisations about the place.

    Having said that Moore skewers right to the heart of all that is wrong with the American Dream.

  9. Adrian 9

    Aussie being a few years ahead is interesting, maybe it is the warmth, that helps longevity but I wonder if they are counting the Aboriginal stats yet, they weren’t for a long time.

  10. greywarshark 10

    Looking up info on Brit economist Douglas Hague I found some interesting bits in his obituary. He was an early adopter of Friedmans freemarket ideas. and helped Margaret Thatcher understand how to adapt these as Prime Minister.

    …During her tenure as Edward Heath’s education minister, contact with Hague was less frequent — but she insisted that they lunch occasionally (at the Epicure restaurant in Soho) because
    “the Department is full of communists and I need to check on issues… with someone whose views are like mine.”

    When she became party leader in 1975, Hague’s time was largely divided between his Manchester post and the Prices Commission in London, but he also served as one of her speechwriters; and during her 1979 campaign he was one of the very few academic economists who publicly supported her.
    After the election was won, an early paper in her Downing Street in-tray was from Hague urging the abolition of exchange controls — which was done within the year.

    Hague was a consultant to the No 10 Policy Unit from 1979 to 1983, advising on employment and other issues at a time when a gallery of economic thinkers were competing for the prime minister’s ear.
    During the painful 1981 recession he argued (and Mrs Thatcher, guided by another of her gurus, Alan Walters, eventually agreed) that interest rates were too high, and the private sector suffering too much, as a result of excessive focus on control of the money supply.

    Towards the end of his Downing Street stint, Hague moved his academic base from Manchester to Templeton College, Oxford — conveniently closer to London — and responded to a Policy Unit call for more sophisticated British management education by creating the Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme, which became internationally recognised as a stepping-stone for high-fliers.
    The prime minister, however, was initially sceptical: “Leadership?” she said to Hague. “You tell people what to do and they do it. That’s leadership!” …

    From 1983 to 1987 he was chairman of the Economic & Social Research Council, and thereafter he was a non-executive director of a variety of business ventures. He continued to write speeches for the prime minister from time to time, and (as a member of Oxford’s Wesley Memorial Church, which she herself had attended as an undergraduate)
    [He}was particularly proud to have provided her in 1988 with words from John Wesley to support a call to the wealthy, who had recently enjoyed tax cuts, to turn to philanthropy: “Get all you can. Save all you can. Give all you can.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11444810/Sir-Douglas-Hague-economist-obituary.html

    (But then I wonder, give to whom? The wealthy often become philanthropists giving away works of art. Applying money to ordinary folks is only worthy when it goes to some special group with some disablement. The disablement of poor childhood in all senses, and the effect of funding a micro bank with myriads of small successes, rates less.)

  11. Infused 11

    I think i’d trust the US system more than most others though. Get cancer or something over there, if you are insured, you’re getting treatment within hours.

    • Bob 11.1

      You’d bloody well hope so if you are effectively paying 3 times as much for healthcare as you do in New Zealand!

    • McFlock 11.2

      lol

      “if you are insured”.

      Yup.
      And driving drunk is a really relaxing and chill way to travel, if you don’t have an accident or get pulled over. /sarc

    • joe90 11.3

      if you are insured

      Indeed.
      /

      Mayo Clinic’s chief executive made a startling announcement in a recent speech to employees: The Rochester-based health system will give preference to patients with private insurance over those with lower-paying Medicaid or Medicare coverage, if they seek care at the same time and have comparable conditions.

      […]

      Mayo will always take patients, regardless of payer source, when it has medical expertise that they can’t find elsewhere, said Dr. John Noseworthy, Mayo’s CEO. But when two patients are referred with equivalent conditions, he said the health system should “prioritize” those with private insurance.

      http://www.startribune.com/mayo-to-pick-privately-insured-patients-amid-medicaid-pressures/416185134/

  12. Richard McGrath 12

    If you think the U.S. has a free market health system, frankly you’re deranged. It is massively regulated.

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    Today politics seems to be dominated by Australian ridiculousness, after the Australian government blamed Chris Hipkins (rather than hard-working Australian journalists) for exposing Barnaby Joyce as a New Zealand citizen, and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop interfering in our election ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Editors put the boot into National
    There is no question that a resurgent Labour party has closed the National party out of the media limelight. What else could Bill English do but pander to his ageist supporters by proposing boot camps and spot fines for the ...
    3 days ago
  • Civil Disobedience Against Big Irrigation
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    3 days ago
  • Climate change: The Cullen fund divests
    Climate change is now undeniable, and if we are to survive it, the fossil fuel industry has to die. And now the Cullen Fund has recognised that fact, and started divesting its risk:The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has sold shares ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Dirty farmers
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • National’s policy hardly Christian
    It’s often amazing to see the ill-conceived political arguments that make it to print in New Zealand sometimes. Perhaps one of the least canvassed areas of voting preference is that of religious beliefs, and where those beliefs coincide with a ...
    3 days ago
  • “As soon as reasonably practicable”
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Wijkontsluitingsweg
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    Transport BlogBy Kent Lundberg
    3 days ago
  • Eyewitness report from Charlottesville by Redneck Revolt
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    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Treating young people differently
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    3 days ago
  • Looking to the past to understand the Politics of Love
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    3 days ago
  • Power imbalances in local vs central government
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    Briefing PapersBy Christine Rose
    3 days ago
  • The Greens’ Campaign Reset: Normal Ideological Transmission Is Resumed.
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    3 days ago
  • Victory on Victoria
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    3 days ago
  • MSM catches up on Unemployment stats rort
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • When is Lying Justified?
    Among the sinners the drunk porter in Macbeth welcomes into hell is the ‘equivocator, that could swear in both the scales against either scale’. Equivocation is a theme of the play; Shakespeare is thought to have been influenced by the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Has National gone Full Metal Jacket?
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    4 days ago
  • Yale Climate Connections: America’s beacon of climate science awareness
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    4 days ago
  • On Mike Hosking – Don’t Say I Never Warned You
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    4 days ago
  • PM lied about Greenpeace spies
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    4 days ago
  • I watched Miss Universe NZ 2017 so you don’t have to
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    4 days ago
  • NZ Post spied on the public
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Aspirational fluff from Ardern 
    by Daphna Whitmore Although women got the vote in the late 19th century, now well in to the 21st century we still do not have pay equity. While overt discrimination against individual female employees is no longer legal or socially ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • National party dead in the water
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    4 days ago
  • Barnaby Joyce is a New Zealand citizen
    Over the last few weeks the Australian Parliament has been rocked by a succession of resignations and court referrals over various Senators falling foul of s44 of the Australian constitution, which bars dual-citizens from the legislature. Today, that clause appears ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Dual Modes and Axle Loads
    Last year KiwiRail made the decision to replace the 16 current 30-year-old EF class electric freight trains currently in use on the North Island Main Trunk with the procurement of more DL Class Diesel Trains. These EF Class trains use ...
    Transport BlogBy Harriet Gale
    4 days ago
  • What’s Going On? with Lucy Zee: Beervana
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    4 days ago
  • National resorts to racism on water
    National knows it can't defeat the Labour-Green policy on water charging on fairness grounds, so they're now appealing to racism, with Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson scaremongering that making farmers pay their fair share will mean reopening historic ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A Weak Man Trying to Look Strong
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Keeping tiny humans alive
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    4 days ago
  • The left shouldn’t fear Greg O’Connor
    When Greg O’Connor was a young Police officer he did a stint undercover and has lamented having to arrest gang members he viewed at the time as his mates. This is perhaps the main problem for the left, being that ...
    4 days ago
  • ATAP Revised
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    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on North Korea, neo-Nazism, and Milo
    First published on Werewolf With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – ...
    4 days ago
  • National Party: young offenders need to be dealt with
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    My ThinksBy boonman
    5 days ago
  • US mass murder in Korea, 1950-1953
    The following piece is an extract from a longer article by Phil Hearse that appeared in International Viewpoint, an online Marxist publication, last Thursday (August 10). For the people of North Korea, warnings from their leadership about the United ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s water tax is going to kill us all
    This week new Labour leader and … Jacinda Ardern announced her party’s new plan to steal the Green Party’s old plan to place a charge on commercial users of water. This surprised many New Zealanders, mainly because since we’ve had ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    5 days ago

  • Government caves to multi-national tax avoiders in the shadows
    News that the Government has secretly caved in to the demands of multi-national tax avoiders come as no surprise, but will disappoint Kiwi taxpayers, says Labour’s spokesman for Revenue Michael Wood.   “It has been revealed that a United States ...
    14 hours ago
  • Cheaper to stay at The Langham than emergency housing motels
    Labour’s comprehensive plan to fix the housing crisis and ensure there’s enough state housing, means we won’t be paying through the nose for emergency accommodation like the current Government has to, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “National has ...
    15 hours ago
  • Government must come clean on water
      News that the National Government is secretly working behind closed doors on its own water charging schemes shows their utter hypocrisy on this issue, says Labour’s water spokesperson David Parker.  “They have been carping on about Labour’s plan for ...
    19 hours ago
  • Government pays twice the price for emergency housing motels – with two more on the way
    Under Labour’s plan to build at least 1000 state houses each year, New Zealand wouldn’t be paying more than double the valuations for motels to house Kiwis needing emergency housing, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “Under questioning today, ...
    2 days ago
  • HAM shows country needs Labour on housing
    The latest Housing Affordability Measure report shows affordability dramatically worsening for Auckland first home buyers, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 days ago
  • Canterbury kids get more support for mental health
    Children in Canterbury and Kaikoura will get dedicated mental health support to help them overcome the trauma of the earthquakes, says the Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We’ll fund an extra eighty mental health professionals for the next three ...
    2 days ago
  • Statement on Julie Bishop’s comments
    It is highly regrettable that the Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has chosen to make false claims about the New Zealand Labour Party. I have been utterly transparent about this situation. I stand by my statements this morning that I ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour stands with Pike families
    A Labour Government will stand with the families of Pike River and reaffirm its commitment to safe workplaces by ensuring there will be a Minister responsible for Pike River, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “The Pike River disaster ...
    3 days ago
  • Yes to Sallies – Labour will build more state houses
    The Salvation Army’s latest report ‘Taking Stock’ shows why New Zealand needs a Labour-led Government committed to a massive house building programme, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “When the Sallies say the country needs 2000 extra state houses a ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders deserve better than scaremongering over water
    New Zealanders need to hear from National about how they will fund the clean-up of our rivers and lakes for future generations. Instead, National has broadened its scare-mongering, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. ...
    4 days ago
  • School Leavers’ Toolkit to equip young people for adult life
    Labour will give school leavers the practical skills and knowledge they need for adult life with a new School Leavers’ Toolkit, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Our teachers and schools do a great job of teaching our children ...
    4 days ago
  • Pay equity to be a priority for Labour
      Labour will make sure that the country’s mental health workers are a priority when it comes to pay equity negotiations, says the Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “It is very important for me to right the wrong created ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s positive education plan
    Today’s announcement on learning support is more tinkering and proof that only a Labour Government will deliver the resources that schools and parents are crying out for, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “We have a positive vision for a ...
    7 days ago
  • Pike footage raises questions over government’s actions
    The Government’s seeming determination to turn a blind eye to new questions about what happened at Pike River Mine is troubling, says Labour’s West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor. ...
    7 days ago
  • Solution to rent rises lies in building houses and stopping speculators
    The spread of rental increases from the big cities to the surrounding regions shows why we need to get on top of the housing shortage build homes our families can afford, and lock out the speculators, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Clean rivers don’t cost $18 a cabbage
    National is falling into a bad pattern of promising the world and not saying how they will fund it, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for honest answer on transport funding
    National needs to explain how they will fund the $6 billion funding gap in their 10-year Auckland transport plan, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for true numbers on overseas speculators
    It’s time for the Government to give accurate figures on the number of houses being bought by overseas speculators, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Raymond Huo. ...
    1 week ago
  • Fair and sustainable trade: A Green Party vision for New Zealand’s trading relationships
    Trade is a cornerstone of the New Zealand economy. It provides us with the things we want and need, and enables us to pay for those with exports that generate business opportunities and jobs. However, it should be recognised that ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • Clean rivers for future generations
    Labour will lead a nationwide effort to restore our rivers and lakes to a clean, swimmable state, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand really can do better on health
    Labour’s commitment to affordable access to high quality healthcare will provide a better service for New Zealanders than the current Health Minister, who will not apologise for statements that he made that wrongly criticised hard-working staff in the Southern DHB’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan the answer to motorway chaos
    Labour’s plan to build a light rail network and improve heavy rail and bus services across Auckland is the only answer to the kind of motorway congestion Aucklanders endured this morning, says Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build rail to Auckland Airport
    A world class city needs a rail connection from the CBD to its international airport – that’s why Labour will build light rail to Auckland Airport as a priority, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Let’s get Auckland moving ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is pay equity just too hard for this Govt?
    You are hard pressed these days to find someone that openly admits their misogyny, that men should still be paid more than women. Politicians proclaim that they want to see women paid more, but do their actions back it up? ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s commitment to our Rainbow nation
    The Labour Party has reaffirmed its commitment to New Zealand’s rainbow community with its 2017 Rainbow policy, featuring the goal to end HIV in New Zealand by 2025. Grant Robertson says Labour continues a long and proud tradition of advocating ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s vision for Auckland more than reheated roads
    Labour is more ambitious for Auckland than the reheated set of transport projects proposed by National, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Waiting urology patients are the tip of the iceberg
    The 10 patients waiting for urology surgery at Dunedin Hospital are just the tip of the iceberg, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.  "Hundreds of patients are waiting for follow-up appointments, but they are not deemed serious enough to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Landowners Misled by Maori Party
    Māori landowners are being misled by Government hui being held throughout the country promoting the troubled Māori Land Service (MLS), which underpins the Crown’s unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s Johnny-come-lately approach to multinational tax won’t wash
    It’s a case of baby steps for a Government that still allows multinational companies to avoid paying their fair share of tax, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. “After nine years in government, five years after the issue of multinational ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Auckland congestion up there with the world’s worst
    Traffic congestion is costing Auckland up to $2 billion in lost productivity according to the latest report from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood.  “This is a disaster and underlines the need for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Experience in Youth Parliament 2016
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    GreensBy NZ Green Party
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour backs renters’ call for warm, healthy homes
    80 per cent of renters wish their home was warmer and drier, and that’s what Labour will deliver, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • We can – and must – do better for Kiwi jobs
    Labour has the plan to get more young New Zealanders into jobs and tackle concerns raised in the latest statistics which show an extra 3000 young Kiwis are neither earning or learning compared to the same time last year, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement from Jacinda Ardern, Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party
    I want to start by giving my thanks to Andrew. His announcement today and the situation we have found ourselves in is not what anyone expected or wanted In my time working with Andrew I know one thing to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better homes for Maori under Labour
    Labour’s vision is that Māori enjoy an equal playing field and have the same home ownership opportunities as non-Māori, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “Today Labour is proud to announce a detailed Māori housing policy from South Auckland’s ...
    3 weeks ago

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