Implications of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement
Professor Jane Kelsey has produced a briefing on the implications of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (a free trade agreement involving a number of Pacific and Asian countries, including the United States) for our public health system). In it she points out that there are real risks for ACC. I quote from the briefing
“Where are the risks for ACC?
NZ’s publicly owned no-fault accident compensation scheme is a political football: National partially privatised ACC in 1999; Labour reversed that in 2000; and National is opening the workers’ account to private competition again (a weasel word for privatisation). There are huge risks in privatisation - ‘cream skimming’ that leaves the state provider covering the unprofitable risks; insurers becoming insolvent; further cut backs in coverage and entitlements, and insurers refusing claims on technicalities, as they commonly do in the US, condemning injured workers and their families to poverty. Remember it is employers who will choose which insurer they use, not the workers who suffer the injuries.
Could a TPPA stop the government from taking back control if privatisation fails?
The financial services and investment chapters a TPPA could prevent another nationalisation of ACC. US firm AIG, which has the largest share of the world market (and received of a $180 billion bailout), will expect the US negotiators to secure guaranteed access to the ACC ‘market’ and the right to sue for mega-compensation if there is another reversal”.