ACC privatisation: Let the fightback begin

I’ve run the “ACC: undermine, cut privatise” banner on a few posts on ACC over the last couple of years, and now we’re seeing the third leg of the trifecta emerging with the announcement yesterday that ACC’s work account is to be partially privatised.

This may be good news for some employers, because in the short term foreign owned private insurers will be able to loss-lead with lower levies to gain market share.

But it will be very bad news for claimants, because the easiest way for private insurers to keep levies low, reduce costs, and increase profits is to wrongly deny legitimate claims in the knowledge that most claimants won’t have the knowledge and/or resources to challenge adverse decisions.

Expect this to be a big political issue next year in the lead-up to the general election.

In the meantime, there are a couple of things you can do before the summer break:

  • Register your opposition to the ACC privatisation plans by signing up to the ACC Futures website.
  • Go to the ACC Futures Facebook page and spread the word about it.

13 thoughts on “ACC privatisation: Let the fightback begin

  1. Oh so why DID Brieley investments buy Air NZ when it was already “privatised” when Ansett NZ was allowed into the market?

    How are those examples a failure? Who would go back to having a statutory monopoly on domestic air travel? Who would give NZ Post a statutory monopoly again (all those competing postal operators in small towns, how DARE they “privatise” a 100% state owned business).

    It isn’t a label in my head, you are being patronising and disingenuous.

    Privatisation is when the state sells an asset.
    Opening up a state owned operation to competition is typically called deregulation.

    The Cook Strait Ferries were always open to competition, did that mean they were always privatised?

    What’s annoying isn’t the debate, it is the wholly dishonest use of language.

  2. It is like saying that when domestic air services were opened up to competition from then 100% state owned Air NZ, it was privatisation, or that opening up postal services to competition was privatisation, or indeed that the electricity sector was privatised when private companies were allowed to generate and sell electricity.

    Yes, what’s happening with ACC is like that. Those are great examples of privatisation, ones that didn’t work out very well to boot!

    Whatever label you use for it in your head, LS, we don’t want it.

  3. Of course the Greens join Labour in the deliberate misuse of language, in perfect Gramscian style, to stir up public opposition to a policy that, if depicted correctly, few would get upset about.

    You see the public by and large likes competition and choice. The Greens have pushed for it in telecommunications and other sectors where the private sector are the providers. Government owned monopolies are well known to be less than responsive for fairly obvious reasons, the main one being you can’t take your money elsewhere.

    So opening up the employment account to competition is fairly innocuous, until you put your socialist ideological hat on. Then it is seen as the thin end of the wedge of the only nationalised personal accident insurance scheme in the developed world.

    So the word privatisation is used, not because it is privatisation, but because some may use private providers.

    It is like saying that when domestic air services were opened up to competition from then 100% state owned Air NZ, it was privatisation, or that opening up postal services to competition was privatisation, or indeed that the electricity sector was privatised when private companies were allowed to generate and sell electricity.

    The merits of the debate on the issue are worthwhile, but they are severely degraded by the childish use of the word privatisation because you can’t get enthusiastic headlines from opposing competition – doesn’t sound good, although it is exactly what it is.

  4. What is the intellectual argument against allowing me to chose whether I buy my workplace insurance from ACC, or a private firm?

    I am currently paying 2.04% of my income into an insurance which I am never likely to use (as I am in a very safe profession) so could probably save quite a lot of money by just choosing the private option instead.

    If people are still given the option to buy from ACC, then doesn’t that defeat any argument against it, if you don’t want to use the private provider, you don’t have to, just like hospitals and schools. You can chose to send your kids to private school, or public, you can chose private hospitals or go public.

    Opening up ACC to competition is not privitisation and it would be intellectually disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

  5. Whether the criminals are stealthy or blatant the main point I agree with bj is it’s absolutely criminal.

    Bring this out into the open!!!!!

    And focus on the next election!!!!!!!

  6. Allowing competition (choice, something the leftists strongly dislike) in an industry does not equate to privatization!

    It is an outright lie to suggest so. Besides, if ACC provides such a fantastic service, no one will changes providers now, will they? Back on planet earth, people will be leaving ACC in the thousands..

  7. The other issue of course is that those companies will be in a position to cherry pick their clients, leaving ACC with the more expensive and more difficult cases and thus even worse numbers…. whilst the private companies show a profit.

    This is not stealthy to me. It is blatant.

    The people responsible are criminals, and the only way to deal with it is to bring the crime out where the public can see it.

    An election issue in spades.

    BJ

  8. I find it interesting that people are neglecting this topic for the moment. This is one of the more important things that the NACT mob have in store for us… if we let them. Not a good look if we should let them.

    respectfully
    BJ

  9. It’s not just interesting that they sat on this report for months and then release it just before Christmas, but that it coincides with the Welfare Report submisssion deadline.

    Proposals to insurance scheme welfare are to allow moves to private competition here as well – such as employment agencies managing the unemployed and other groups those on incapacity benefits (see the Maxim submssion calling for the UK model in this area).

    ACC wrote to the group giving advice on how to manage those on incapacity.

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