SimonB wrote:There used to be a tax break for taking our private medical insurance, but Gordon Brown (I think) decided to give the NHS an increase of funds and took away the tax break saying that the NHS would be able to supply everything so private insurance wasn't necessary. Now might be the time to tempt more people back into the self pay or self insure market and reduce the burden on the NHS that way.
Tax breaks for private healthcare is an example of "middle class welfare" and IMO indefensible. State taxes shouldn't be used to subsidise the wealthy.
I agree, however, that private healthcare should be encouraged as it takes pressure off the state system, encourages innovation, and increases overall resources for healthcare.
A better idea than tax breaks to incentivise private healthcare over here is that those earning above a certain threshold pay a higher medicare levy (the hypothecated health tax) unless they take out private insurance.
I also think the "free at point of use" principle should be removed (except for the poor) for reasons stated. Why should a millionaire pay nothing to visit a GP?