Friday, April 23, 2010

Privatising ACC

Radio New Zealand reports that the government's "stocktake" committee into ACC - comprised of NeoLiberals and insurance-industry cronies - is pushing privatising the scheme. As in the 90's this won't be done by selling it outright, but rather by "opening it up to competition" - meaning that the insurance industry will cherry pick the profitable parts of the scheme (and then play their usual games of refusing to pay out on claims - i.e. cheating their customers), and leave the public to pick up the tab on the rest.

There is no benefit to the public from this. An independent report from Price Waterhouse [PDF] a few years ago found the ACC scheme was the most efficient in the world, cost half as much as private insurance in Australia while providing broader coverage, and that there would be no benefits to the public from privatisation. But according to the Prime Minister's old firm Merrill Lynch, they and their Australian insurance industry buddies would make $200 million a year if ACC was privatised. That's $200 million a year which will be ripped straight out of our pockets, paid for in denied claims and poorer service - a wealth transfer from the poor to the rich, National's raison d'ĂȘtre.

We can't let this happen. ACC is a core public service, and National plans to gut it to enrich its mates. You don't get a starker illustration of the inherent corruption of the right than that.