Squiz Today / 17 July 2019
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 17 July
“I stepped out to start running again and, whack.”
Aussie tourist Josh (surname understandably withheld) describes the moment he was gored during Pamplona’s famous running of the bulls festival in Spain. He’s fine, even if he’ll return home with a unique souvenir from his travels. This year’s event has seen more than 500 people treated for injuries. Olé.
AUSTRALIAN HEALTH SYSTEM IN ‘DEATH SPIRAL’
Australia's health system is in a 'death spiral' according to a major report released yesterday. There's a vicious cycle of baby boomers leaning more heavily on it and young people abandoning private health cover. This cycle is in danger of rendering our health system terminal, according to a report by the Grattan Institute.
THAT SOUNDS SERIOUS, DOC...
The prognosis isn’t great. The essential conundrum was described yesterday as this: the exodus of young people from private health insurance is leaving only older, more expensive customers in the system, which is in turn pushing premiums higher - which then forces out more younger, healthier users. This is a problem because for any insurance pool to work, you need a spread of 'risk' where a bunch pay their premiums but are less likely to make claims. The report says the private health system has become "riddled with inconsistencies and perverse incentives”. And this isn’t a political debate - even people supportive of the private health system say there’s a problem.
WHAT DID PEOPLE SAY?
Stephen Duckett, the Grattan Institute - “The government is going to have to step in. Just supporting the private health insurance rebate is not enough, the industry needs reform.”
Dr Rachel David of the peak body, Private Healthcare Australia - "Without further reforms to address rising healthcare costs, people will be forced into the public system. This will result in longer hospital waiting times, and a shortage of beds for the people who need them most."
Greg Hunt, Federal Health Minister - “Work has already commenced with the healthcare sector to identify and implement the next wave of positive reforms for private healthcare.”
SQUIZ THE REST
MAGGIE BEER SLAMS $7-A-DAY NURSING HOME RATIONS
Much-loved celebrity chef Maggie Beer has laid bare the shocking extent to which residents of some of Australia’s aged-care facilities are being short-changed on the nutrition front. Appearing before the Aged Care Royal Commission in Cairns yesterday, Beer said the $7-a-day per resident that some nursing homes spend on food is hopelessly inadequate. "They would have to use processed food, frozen food, frozen vegetables," she said. "It's just impossible." The former Senior Australian of the Year, and founder of a foundation to improve nutrition among older Australians, said a reasonable minimum budget would be $10.50-a-day per resident, but for $14 "you can do really good food".
ASSANGE BUSTED CONSORTING WITH RUSSIANS
A cache of never-before-seen surveillance photos, videos and documents are evidence, reports say, of how Wikileaks founder Julian Assange collaborated with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election. The surveillance material, secretly gathered by a firm employed by the Ecuadorian embassy in London, reveals how Assange met regularly with hackers and other figures linked to the Russian government and used the embassy as a high-tech "command centre". The revelations back Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s contention that the leaks damaged her campaign, and appear to support major tenets of the Mueller report.
FURTHER INTEREST RATE CUTS ON THE CARDS
The release yesterday of minutes from the Reserve Bank’s July meeting has sparked speculation that interest rates could be slashed even further. Already at an all-time low of 1%, the official cash rate could be headed for the chopping block again later this year with the minutes revealing the RBA’s concerns over a possible US-China trade war and sluggish employment and economic growth at home. Economists from the big four banks yesterday said a further drop in official interest rates to 0.75% by November was entirely likely.
COME IN SIMMONS...
Someone for whom interest rates and mortgage repayments will presumably be no issue is Aussie basketball prodigy, Ben Simmons. He yesterday signed on the dotted line with the Philadelphia 76ers to the tune of A$242 million dollars - instantly making him the highest-paid athlete in Australia's history. Reports say the Melbourne-born wunderkind will earn A$41.5million in the first year of the deal which will top out at $54.86million in the 2025-26 NBA season. Oh, and he's 22 years old. Now to make sure he’s on the court for the Aussie Boomers when the Basketball World Cup kicks off next month...
A TALE OF TWO ACTRESSES
Scarlett Johannsen has had to explain herself after the interwebs took offence at her assertion that as an artist, she should be free to play any character she likes - black, white, marginalised minority or not. The Marvel actress said she was taken out of context and was only saying that actors “should be immune to political correctness”. Meanwhile, news that actress Lashana Lynch is set to take on the role of 007 in the Bond movie franchise has been met with widespread approval. If it comes to pass, Lynch will be smashing stereotypes left, right, and centre to make a little bit of cinematic history of her very own.
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - Housing Occupancy and Costs, 2017-18
Release of the highly anticipated remake of the Lion King, 25 years after the original screened
5th anniversary of the downing of MH17 over eastern Ukraine
Birthdays for Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (1947) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (1954)
World Emoji Day
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