Bill Shorten in front of Save Medicare banner

While gender issues dominated the framing and reaction to Christine Holgate's appearance before a Senate committee inquiry yesterday, it gave further impetus to a narrative that Labor may yet fruitfully exploit in the next election campaign.

The received political wisdom right now is that the government's fate will hinge on its success or otherwise in rolling out its vaccination program. As it happens, that's at the intersection of the two biggest issues that voters say influence their voting decisions: the economy and health services. Vaccination rollout should mean an end to the threat of COVID-19, reopening of borders, a return to economic normality, Australians dancing in the streets, etc.

But think back to the 2016 election when Labor generated, from basically nothing, an entire campaign based around saving Medicare from privatisation. It nearly carried Bill Shorten to a remarkable victory over Malcolm Turnbull.