Bill's Media Releases

LABOR’S MEDICARE GUARANTEE

A Shorten Labor Government will give a three-part guarantee that will ensure Medicare is protected for future generations.

Labor’s Medicare Guarantee includes:

  1. Abolishing Mr Turnbull’s GP Tax by stealth.
  2. Scrapping Mr Turnbull’s $5 increase in prescription costs, saving the average Australian family with two healthy kids more than $400 a year in essential healthcare costs.
  3. Legislating to ensure Medicare remains in public hands.

Labor created Medicare, and we will always fight for it to remain a public, universal healthcare system.

The Abbott-Turnbull Government has launched repeated attacks on Medicare.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s shameful record on Medicare includes:

  • Supporting Tony Abbott’s GP Tax by stealth and extending it for a further two years in this year’s Budget, even though he is at odds with Health Minister Sussan Ley.
  • Increasing the cost of prescriptions by up to $5 per script, hitting the chronically ill and neediest people in our society.
  • Establishing a secret taskforce to privatise the Medicare payments system.

Make no mistake – Malcolm Turnbull wants to destroy Medicare.

Under a Turnbull Government, everyone will pay more for basic healthcare.

The Liberals have already privatised Medibank, now Mr Turnbull wants to privatise Medicare payments. Behind closed doors, the Government has been working for 18 months to sell off the Medicare payments system to a private provider.

This will jeopardise the confidentiality of personal patient records for every Australian, and put the jobs of 1,400 workers at risk.

Worst of all, it is the first step towards the privatising the whole Medicare system.

Unlike a publicly-run system, contracted providers will be motivated by profit, not the needs of patients.

Mr Turnbull has given no indication of who might be entrusted with such sensitive work – private health insurers? The big banks? Australians are totally in the dark.

Australians do not want to see a creeping Americanisation of our health system, where your access to basic healthcare depends on your capacity to pay.

Australia has one of the most efficient health systems in the world. Australia invests around 9 per cent of Gross Domestic Product in health care. The US, one of the only industrialised countries not to provide universal health, spends around 18 per cent of its GDP on health care.

Despite spending almost double what Australia spends, the US is flagging dramatically when it comes to life expectancy and overall wellness.

We do not want to replicate the American system.

Only Labor believes access to basic healthcare should rely on your Medicare card, not your credit card.

Labor will introduce legislation in our first 100 days of government to protect Medicare.

Labor will introduce a special Act of Parliament to enshrine public ownership of Medicare in law.

This Act will codify Labor’s commitment to keep Medicare in public hands and prohibit the privatisation of the Medicare payments system.

Legislating to protect Medicare has not happened before in its 41-year history. But it has never faced such sustained attack from a Liberal government.

The repeated threats to Medicare posed by the Abbott-Turnbull government make such an unprecedented step necessary.

Only Labor will fight for Medicare and defend it from Liberal attack.

Only Labor will ensure that our universal public healthcare system, so vital to so many Australians, is guaranteed for future generations.

TUESDAY, 24 MAY 2016


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