How Peter Whish-Wilson voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should decrease the private health insurance rebate that eligible taxpayers are entitled to

Division Peter Whish-Wilson Supporters vote Division outcome

27th Jun 2013, 11:03 PM – Senate Private Health Insurance Amendment (Lifetime Health Cover Loading and Other Measures) Bill 2012 - Third Reading - Read a third time

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bill for a third time. This means that the majority agree with the bill and want it to be passed in the Senate. Since the bill has already passed in the House of Representative, it can now become law.(Read more about the stages that a bill must pass through to become law here. )

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to make two changes to the private health insurance rebate.

The first change is to remove the rebate from the Lifetime Health Cover ('LHC') loading component of affected private health insurance premiums. The LHC is a financial penalty on those who delay taking out private health insurance in the form of a two per cent loading on their premium for each year after their 31st birthday they delay purchasing cover. Currently, people with an LHC loading receive the private health insurance rebate on the total cost of their premium (i.e. the premium plus any LHC loading). Schedule 1 seeks to change this so that people with an LHC loading only receive the rebate to the cost of their premium, not including the LHC loading.(More information about the LHC loading and the effect of this bill is available in its bills digest. )

The second change is to end the Incentive Payments Scheme which allows people to claim the rebate as a direct payment. Currently there are three ways that people can claim the private health insurance rebate: (1) through the Premiums Reduction Scheme, which is an upfront discount on the premium offered by the health insurer; (2) as a tax offset claimed through the Australian Taxation Office; (3) through the Incentive Payment Scheme, which is a direct payment from a Medicare office. This bill would remove the latter option.(Read more about the Incentive Payments Scheme and the bill generally in its bills digest.)

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

27th Jun 2013, 10:59 PM – Senate Private Health Insurance Amendment (Lifetime Health Cover Loading and Other Measures) Bill 2012 - In Committee - Keep schedule 1 unchanged

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The majority voted in favour of a motion that schedule 1 stand as printed, which means that the schedule will remain unchanged. The motion was put in response to a motion introduced by Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells that the schedule be opposed.

Schedule 1 is the part of the bill that is intended to remove the private health insurance rebate from the Lifetime Health Cover ('LHC') loading component of affected private health insurance premiums.

The LHC is a financial penalty on those who delay taking out private health insurance in the form of a two per cent loading on their premium for each year after their 31st birthday they delay purchasing cover. Currently, people with an LHC loading receive the private health insurance rebate on the total cost of their premium (i.e. the premium plus any LHC loading). Schedule 1 seeks to change this so that people with an LHC loading only receive the rebate to the cost of their premium, not including the LHC loading.(More information about the LHC loading and the effect of this bill is available in its bills digest. )

Background of the bill

As well as removing the private health insurance rebate from the Lifetime Health Cover loading component of affected private health insurance premiums, the bill was also introduced to end the Incentive Payments Scheme which allows people to claim the rebate as a direct payment.

Currently there are three ways that people can claim the private health insurance rebate: (1) through the Premiums Reduction Scheme, which is an upfront discount on the premium offered by the health insurer; (2) as a tax offset claimed through the Australian Taxation Office; (3) through the Incentive Payment Scheme, which is a direct payment from a Medicare office. This bill would remove the latter option.(Read more about the Incentive Payments Scheme and the bill generally in its bills digest.)

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

How "voted very strongly for" is worked out

The MP's votes count towards a weighted average where the most important votes get 50 points, less important votes get 10 points, and less important votes for which the MP was absent get 2 points. In important votes the MP gets awarded the full 50 points for voting the same as the policy, 0 points for voting against the policy, and 25 points for not voting. In less important votes, the MP gets 10 points for voting with the policy, 0 points for voting against, and 1 (out of 2) if absent.

Then, the number gets converted to a simple english language phrase based on the range of values it's within.

No of votes Points Out of
Most important votes (50 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 2 20 20
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 20 20

*Pressure of other work means MPs or Senators are not always available to vote – it does not always indicate they have abstained. Therefore, being absent on a less important vote makes a disproportionatly small difference.

Agreement score = MP's points / total points = 20 / 20 = 100%.

And then