Brian Turner: Pushing up insurance costs ignores 'do no harm' mantra
The Budget created many headlines in the health area. However, two items that have not generated as much publicity relate to the health insurance market, both of which will increase people's premiums.
The first is the charging of insurers for the use of all beds in public hospitals. Up to now, insurers have paid for the use of private beds in public hospitals, but a 2009 report from the Comptroller and Auditor General suggested that around half of private patients in public hospitals were in public or non-designated beds.
Therefore, while their consultants were being paid for treating private patients, the hospitals were not getting paid for accommodating those same private patients.