Senator Nettle explained that these amendments "abolish the private health insurance rebate". She argued that this money used to pay this rebate "should be redirected and instead spent on our public healthcare system".(Read Senator Nettle's full explanation of these amendments here. )
Because the majority voted against these amendments, they were unsuccessful.
Background to the bill
The bill was introduced to allow the federal government to sell its interest in Medibank Private Limited and allow Medibank to operate on a “for profit” basis. The Coalition Government plans to do this after the 2007 election, should it be re-elected.(Read more about this privatisation proposal on Wikipedia here and on the ABC's World Today program here.)