Squiz Today / 13 October 2017
Squiz Today – Friday, 13 October
“I’m too shy. I’ll never be a Casanova. I’m more reserved. But, yeah, maybe the girls like me, I don’t know. You’d have to ask the girls.”
Said humble Italian footy bloke Mirco Bergamasco to the Daily Telegraph as teams start arriving for the Rugby League World Cup (which kicks off in Melbourne in two weeks). Sorry people, he’s married. But he’s (almost) enough to give us a new-found interest in the sport…
REBUILDING PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE
Young people and those living in regional Oz are expected to be the big winners from reforms to private health insurance to be announced today by the Turnbull Government. The system has been crook for a while with people walking away from their private coverage in droves. In fact, reports say 10,000 people a month are dropping their policies. But after two years of consultation, the government is ready to move.
Reports say reforms will focus on:
• Structuring policies into gold, silver and bronze categories to help people pick the right coverage.
• Lowering premiums by offering higher excess levels.
• Extending mental health coverage after hospitalisation with no waiting period.
• Allowing coverage for travel and accommodation for regional patients who have to travel for treatment.
• Discounting premiums by up to 2% per year for each year a member is under 30yo.
• Narrowing some coverage categories to exclude things like unproven natural therapies. And being more vigilant about the prosthetics used in surgeries (eg your 80yo grandma might only need a hip replacement prosthetic that lasts 10 years, not 20+ years) to save some dollars.
SO WILL MY PREMIUMS GO DOWN?
That’s the key, right? It’s a major factor in whether we stick with our insurance. By getting more healthy young people in the insurance pool, tightening up some categories and keeping costs down, the theory is premiums will come down. The government is also giving the Private Health Ombudsman some additional powers and resources to keep the health funds in line. It’s important to the government that this works to keep pressure off the public system. But it has a major trust-building exercise ahead of it. Good luck claiming that.
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BRCA GENETIC TESTS SOON TO BE FREE
While we’re talking health, the government yesterday announced it will fund genetic tests for women with a family history of breast and ovarian cancer from November. The tests for inherited BRCA genetic mutations linked to the diseases give at-risk women the option of undergoing preventative surgery such as a prophylactic mastectomy. Women have previously had to pay up to $2,000 for the test or wait up to a year for access through the public system. Reports say women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations have on average a 70% risk of developing breast cancer by the time they turn 80yo.
CITIZENSHIP HEARINGS CONCLUDE
Senator Matt Canavan’s lawyer yesterday said the High Court risks “genealogical witch hunts” every time there’s an election. That makes a lot more sense than a "gynaecological witch hunt" which is how we initially read it. Anyway, arguments wrapped up yesterday and the court will go away and make its decisions on each case. The Turnbull government hopes that will be soon because there are whispers of high-jinx scheduled to test support for the government in the Parliament next week.
TRUMP FUMES OVER ARSENAL SIZE CLAIMS
US President Donald Trump slammed broadcaster NBC over a report that he had asked his aides for a major expansion of America’s nuclear arsenal. The claim is it was this request that prompted the Secretary of State to call Trump a “moron” – something Rex Tillerson’s people say never happened. Trump tweeted; “Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!” Meanwhile, North Korea’s foreign minister was reported as saying that Trump has “lit the wick of war”. Say that a few times quickly after a vino tonight…
And while we have you, the US will pull out of UNESCO by the end of next year saying it has an anti-Israel bias. They’ve had a chequered history with the culture and education body which is best known for its world heritage designations. Before we get all "what's that Trump guy playing at" consider this: the US stopped providing funding to the organisation in 2011 after it voted to include Palestine. And it previously withdrew in 1984 under former President Ronald Reagan and didn’t rejoin until 2002.
MASTERS OF MOVING ON
Woolworths can finally get some closure on its Masters nightmare with the sale of the home improvement venture’s sites going through yesterday. The Home Investment Consortium bought the sites for $525 million and has plans to turn them into super-centres with stores like Spotlight, Anaconda, Chemist Warehouse, JB Hi-Fi and The Good Guys. Woolies announced 18 months ago that is was getting out of the joint venture with US giant Lowe’s after seven years of unsuccessful attempts to cut Bunnings’ grass.
FRIDAY LITES – THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
We were talking to a mate the other day and were stunned they hadn’t seen this ‘day in the life’ profile on Jodhi Mears from a couple of years ago. She's the founder of activewear brand The Upside and the former wife of James Packer. So we thought you might not have seen it either - and you should. In tracking it down we found this old one on designer Tom Ford – the bloke has four baths a day! Who has the time?
Actress Julianne Moore’s New York townhouse = OMG.
The Black Swan in Yorkshire was this week announced the best-reviewed restaurant in the world by Trip Advisor. It touts itself as a family-run pub and it sure looks nice to us.
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - Housing Occupancy and Costs, 2015-16
3.00pm (AEDT) - Netball - Australia v New Zealand - Sydney
NSW State Parliament By-elections in Murray, Cootamundra and Blacktown
Horse Racing - The TAB Everest, billed as the world's richest turf race - Sydney
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