Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Collapsing ACC [updated]

Looks like the failed “all care and no responsibility” ACC scheme is collapsing—the Herald reports “the National Government is planning ‘significant changes,’ saying “soaring costs and deteriorating performance show the present scheme is not working”—while anecdotal reports suggest the ACC bureaucrats themselves are trying to shore up their collapsing system by short-changing claimants and throwing patients off their lists. 

If private insurers were to dump people maimed by medical misadventure, to name one story that’s come my way, there’d be an outcry.  But because it’s a government department this sort of outrage just gets a group hug.

There’s nothing so cold as government charity.

Opening ACC up to competition is urgently needed.  Privatising the damn thing is essential.  But getting rid of the pathetic “all care and no responsibility” arrangement should be a fundamental change.

UPDATE: A friend suggests that if ACC really wants to save money, they could begin by pulling all their goddamn stupid ads of the television!!  We’re not going to die if some dopey bastard stops popping up every five minutes telling us not to go outside without a raincoat, on the roof without a ladder – in fact, we’re less likely to want to go out and kill someone out of sheer bloody frustration!


  1. You can't privatise ACC because no one in their right mind would touch it.

    The only people mad enough to invest in such a dog are scandalously naive investors like, ummm, ACC.

  2. I got a bill from ACC out of the blue for four grand a couple of weeks back. I rang them up and they said, oh, don't worry, that's wrong, we know it's wrong, but we just do that on purpose to get people to call us. So, even though they obviously knew how to contact me, rather than sending a letter asking for the right details, they prefer to frighten the crap out of me to save themselves some hassle. A shining example to those c**ts in the Labour party of why government isn't better at running things than the private sector, and why we should have choice in services. How anyone could charge four thousand dollars for accident insurance for a single year even for a bomb disposal expert (which of course I'm not, I drive a desk) is beyond me, but these pricks get away with it. Pro forma invoicing is illegal for everyone else...

  3. "all care and no responsibility"

    Naah. That aint it. It's "no care and no responsibility."

  4. TWR: That's appalling! I'd heard anecdotal stories like that, but now you've provided validation.

    Why don't you write a quick letter to Nick Smith (he's ACC Minister, ye gods) and tell him that? Copy it to your local MP, too.

    (Yes, I know it's unproductive, etc -- but add it to the rest of the state bullshit we're forced to accommodate & you'll barely notice it!).

    "There’s nothing so cold as government charity."

    Should be a mantra, that.

  5. My local MP is Peter Dunne. Urgh.

  6. Bernard's partly right. You could only privatise it by essentially setting aside the unfunded liabilities of all those currently claiming it in a separate corporation to wind down over time, like the Government Superannuation Fund which froze in 1994 and is gradually closing down. The sale of ACC would be needed to help pay the unfunded liability.

  7. "My local MP is Peter Dunne. Urgh."

    How'd you get so lucky? ;)

    Urgh, indeed.

  8. We are waging war with these bureaucrats for the last few months. Changed to cover plus and set the income to 30 grand. This cuts down on premiums. I signed the new agreement with a footnote that I don't want ACC insurance at all but that I am forced to and sign under protest.

    It took 3 months for these idiots to process it and in the mean time they send double bills with widely varying amounts on them.

    Nobody there knows what is going on and via the phone they told us not to pay any of the bills.

    As soon as cover plus is established guess what we are going to do? Yep! Revert the whole thing back and confuse the living crap out of them.

    I suggest you all do the same and make them cry a little.

  9. twr: if ACC are knowingly sending out wrong, and hyped invoices, then that is fraud. Plain and simple. I wonder if they're protected from criminal prosecution on that?

    And yes, Dunne is hopeless. I'll never forgive Key for leaving him in Revenue: the IRD are all over him, and a law unto themselves - he is the most ineffective Minister of Revenue in my twenty ears of working. Well, as far as my memory serves me.

  10. Dinther: if you mean you've changed to Coverplus Extra, and you are operating in a company, then do you realise those premiums, which ACC charge a premium on, are not deductible to the Company for income tax purposes?

  11. What they said was, when they don't know what industry you are in, they automatically put you in the most dangerous one, send out a bill, and wait for you to scream. Then when you do, they change the industry code, and send out a new bill. Which takes them three weeks. But you don't get any extra time to pay it.
    I pity the poor bastards who assume it's correct and just pay the first one.
    If there was competition, you can bet the premiums would be cheaper (honestly, $2k for accident insurance for an office worker???) and the service better. Not that I want or need accident insurance anyway.

  12. Anonymous, 11:34:

    You're right. How about this:

    ACC: No Fault: No Care: No Responsibility.

  13. twr....send it to Rodney....that'll fuck em!



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