Geektastic: Maybe they should allow medical insurance to be tax deductible to encourage those who can afford it to use it.
This is what they have, sort of, in Australia under their Medicare system. We lived there for 30 years and our levy was reduced because we had private health insurance. This was just a basic insurance which mainly covered Ambulance, basic eye and glasses and basic dental. My partner and I were on good incomes (approx $130K combined), [pink DINKs you could say]. My partner became gravely ill in 2013 and spent 4 nights in ICU in an induced coma and then 4 nights on the high dependence ward before discharge home on 4 weeks of Home Nurse Health care. The only bill we received was the ambulance which the insurance paid for.
So yes I think we should have some sort of tax deduction inducement scheme if you have private health insurance.
I also see that it wont be long before one party or other will advocate for a similar health taxation levy as Australia has.
What we should be grateful for in NZ is our pharmaceutical benefits scheme. As we both have cardiac problems and one has diabetic type 2 problems, we are walking drug cabinets. In Australia on their PBS we each had to spend over (2014 figures) $1200pa before our meds became free or cost reduced (which only one of us did reach each year). So we are considerably better off in NZ regarding our pharmaceuticals.
I recently met an American family over here as missionaries and their son spent 5 days in hospital. He was amazed at the cheapness of his bill (which was covered by his USA health insurance). He was expecting it to be close to $100k instead it was just below $10,000.
Just all be thankful that we have a social health benefits scheme because the majority of the world does not.