Protecting Medicare

Labor will ensure that access to health care is determined by your Medicare card, and not your credit card, and will reverse the Turnbull Government’s GP Tax by stealth.  Nobody wants to head down the same path as America when it comes to our health system. 

That is why Labor gave Australians Medicare and why we will always protect it.  We have fought the Government’s relentless attacks on Medicare.

Mr Turnbull says he is committed to Medicare, but he has already cut billions from Medicare and wants to privatise Medicare payments.  Labor is and will continue to fight these cuts. 

Mr Turnbull’s record on Medicare is clear:

-       Mr Turnbull is cutting $57 billion from our public hospitals

-       Mr Turnbull supported the introduction of a GP Tax

-       When Labor succeeded in shaming the Government into dropping their GP Tax, they introduced it by stealth, cutting $2 billion from Medicare rebates through their freeze on indexation

-       Mr Turnbull wants to increase the cost of prescriptions – by up to $5 per script – hitting some of the sickest patients the hardest

-       Mr Turnbull has cut $650 million from pathology and diagnostic imaging, meaning that patients are likely to pay more for vital preventive and diagnostic tests such as pap smears, MRIs, X-Rays and CT Scans. 

Now Mr Turnbull wants to privatise the Medicare payments system, putting patient records and 1,400 jobs at risk. 

This is just the beginning - the thin end of the wedge – the Liberals will not rest until they have savaged bulk billing and eliminated universal healthcare in this country.  Everyone will pay more and the sickest, the poorest and those in rural areas will be hit hardest. 

One in 20 Australians already say they delay visiting their GP, or do not visit at all, because of cost.  This can lead to conditions deteriorating and people being admitted to hospital – meaning worse outcomes for the patient and greater cost to the health system.  It is vital we don’t create barriers for anyone who needs to see their GP. 

The Liberals’ assault on Medicare and universal healthcare must stop. 

Labor will always protect Medicare.  Under a Labor Government, Medicare will be in safe hands – and in public hands.  We will not support the privatisation of the Medicare system.

We will legislate to protect Medicare. 

There are a range of legislative arrangements which underpin the entire Medicare system.  We want to make sure that Medicare can’t be privatised bit by bit.  We want to ensure that these arrangements make clear that this system will forever be maintained in public hands.  

Labor’s policy has been costed independently by the Parliamentary Budget Office and will have an impact of $2.4 billion over the forward estimates (to 2019-20) and $12.2 billion over the decade to 2026-27.  We will fund this policy through announced improvements to the Budget, including not proceeding with the new baby bonus, capping VET FEE HELP loans, and not proceeding with the tax cut for multinational companies. 

For more information on Labor’s Plan to protect Medicare please visit:

http://www.100positivepolicies.org.au/protecting_medicare

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