A new multi-billion dollar insurance initiative is underway from the Australian government. The Victoria region has been chosen for this insurance plan which is targeting at the nations disabled. Officials hail the plan as the most sweeping social reform since the advent of Medicare. The plan is a $6 billion behemoth which will seek to provide high-quality, long-term care for those that have significant disabilities regardless of the origin of the disability.
The plan comes on the recommendation of the Productivity Commission, the government’s independent research and advisory board. The commission conducted a study of the existing insurance industry and how it serves those with disabilities. After an 18-month investigation, the Commission found the insurance industry lacking and proposed changes to be made by the government.
The state of Victoria will play host to the initial stages of the new program beginning in 2014. The insurance plan is to be funded by Commonwealth revenue as opposed to drawing upon taxes levied on residents. The local government will be responsible for setting up and staffing an insurance agency which will oversee the program. Pending the results of the initial testing, the program may be expanded beyond the borders of Victoria as soon as 2015.
The plan is ambitious and brings with it financial concerns. The $6 billion price tag has made lawmakers uneasy, especially when that money is coming from the Commonwealth rather than taxpayers. The cost levied against the government is quite high, considering the financial hit taken earlier in the year in assisting with natural disasters striking Queensland.