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May 14, 2014

Health: political theatre aside, health cuts a bitter pill to swallow

The government has delivered a masterful stroke of political pageantry in linking a GP co-payment with medical research funds. Unfortunately, it comes at the expense of the poor and the sick, writes health journalist and Croakey contributor Jennifer Doggett.

With the bulk of the health budget already in the public domain, last night’s budget speech from Treasurer Joe Hockey was less about new announcements and more about selling the already unpopular measures to the Australian public. Attempting to convince consumers to cough up more for their healthcare is not an easy task, and in spinning the new payments as “opportunity, not austerity”, Hockey brought political performance art to a new level.

Indeed, with his love of a cliched image (“we all need to share the heavy lifting”), the smoke-and-mirrors acts (pay more for GPs but get a cure for cancer!) and a show-stopper of a stunt (the world’s biggest medical research fund!), the Treasurer seemed at times only one bearded transvestite away from a winning Eurovision entry.

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5 comments

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5 thoughts on “Health: political theatre aside, health cuts a bitter pill to swallow

  1. klewso

    Paper-clipping the co-payment to the funding of such research, a wedge to catch Labor, by The Climate Change Denialists Party which is then going to pick “Good Idea” winners to fund their research? Can’t wait for their justifications and winners?
    If only “Climate Change Refutation Research” could be manipulated to “medical research”?

  2. Bill Gates

    Yep…..ya sick mate…..not in a position to argue if u want to get better/see the doctor….so pay up or Die! By the way did I mention that we are bringing back death taxes if we still can’t balance the budget! regard Tony & Joe.

  3. CML

    With Labor and the Greens already saying they will vote against the $7 co-payment, Clive Palmer’s interview on Lateline tonight was encouraging. He says all four of the PUP senators will also vote against this ‘policy’.
    That adds up to 39 votes in the new Senate, which is a majority. Bye, bye co-payment!!

  4. CML

    Addition to comment above: If the rAbbot doesn’t like that outcome, he can always go to a double dissolution!
    And my bet is, he doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude for that!!

  5. Lee Miller

    I must say how very noble of our glorious PM that he cannot look a pensioner in the eye (as he’s taxpayer funded, high income for LIFE)without being able to say that he will pay exactly the same as they will.

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