Abbott destroys Medicare

Don’t get sick — you’ll regret it!

Ever since Hockey released his (still mostly unpassed) 2014 Budget, there has been widespread community revolt at the #GPTax of $7.00 for GP visits.

The flawed logic behind the #GPtax was to fund a MRFF by dismantling universal health care. Not one cent of the #GPtax raised would be used to balance the budget Abbott said. Simply put, Abbott destroys Medicare, nothing more.

In my opinion, Abbott destroys Medicare with his MRFF to provide a conduit for a taxpayer funded gift to his Pollie Pedal sponsors — of which — a large number are medical and/or pharmaceutical companies.

Abbott has set precedence in neglecting some industries, but, looking after his Pollie Pedal sponsoring buddies with taxpayer funded gifts. Consider this, Abbott:

  1. killed Australia’s automotive manufacturing industry (no pollie pedal sponsors amongst them) when they asked for taxpayer assistance,
  2. refused to help SPC-Ardmona (not a Pollie Pedal sponsor) potentially putting rural jobs in jeopardy,
  3. found millions of dollars for Pollie Pedal sponsors, Cadbury’s.

Corruption? That’s not for me to say, but, we need a Federal ICAC with wide ranging powers to investigate matters such as the gift to Cadbury from Australia’s Taxpayers.

Image: Abbott and Health Minister Dutton announce plan b to make the sick pay more for medical consultations and treatment (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)
Image: Abbott and Dutton announce Plan B to make the sick pay more for medical treatment (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Initially, both Abbott and Hockey lied — alright, ‘minced their words’ — and called it a ‘co-payment’.

What was Abbott’s line to PM Julia Gillard about the #CarbonPrice? Oh that’s right, “A tax, is a tax, is a tax.”

Eventually, Hockey came clean and reluctantly admitted that yes, it was either a tax, or a rabbit(?). The Senate blocked the #GPtax and so, Abbott and Hockey (being shifty bastards) moved to Plan B: a reduction by $5.00 of the Medicare rebate paid to GP‘s. Et voilà! A tax is a tax but now, not a tax.

In reality, Medicare funding arrangements seem to have drastically morphed. According to the AMA the 2015 rebate arrangements are:

From 19 January 2015, the Government has cut Medicare rebates by $20 for GP consultations that take less than 10 minutes.

Today, the standard GP consultation has a Medicare rebate of $37.05.  More than 25% of these consultations last less than 10 minutes.  The Government will reduce the rebates for these services to $16.95 by restricting:

  • Level A consultations (MBS item 3) to consultations lasting less than 10 minutes; and
  • Level B consultations (MBS item 23) to consultations that last between 10 and 20 minutes.

Source: AMA

Who cares? So what …?

“What it will mean is that GPs are forced to pass these changes on to their patients in terms of costs,” A/Professor Owler said.

A/Professor Owen continued by saying experienced GPs were often able to conduct an examination, take a history, prescribe and management plan and counsel a patient within eight or nine minutes, but such efficiency would be punished under the Government’s changes.

“Why that consultation should be worth only $11 now, compared to the $37 that it was worth last week, is certainly not something the AMA supports,” he said. “That is an enormous burden on practices which, at the end of the day, are small businesses.”

In addition to the reclassification of consultations, the Government also plans a $5 cut to the Medicare rebate, which A/Professor Owler said practices would have no choice but to pass on to their patients. Source: AMA

What happens if you get sick?

Image: Breaking Medicare with a #GPTax to fund a Medical Research Future Fund is dumb. The main beneficiaries of the Medical Research Future Fund will be #BigPharma. You can bet it won't cure cancer or even the common cold. Abbott's Pollie Pedal shirt is a who's who of where your #GPTax money will go when you or your kids are sick and you're handing over your seven bux. Need proof? Cadbury.
Image: Breaking Medicare with a #GPTax to fund a Medical Research Future Fund is dumb. The main beneficiaries of the Medical Research Future Fund will be #BigPharma.
You can bet it won’t cure cancer or even the common cold. Abbott’s Pollie Pedal shirt is a who’s who of where your #GPTax money will go when you or your kids are sick and you’re handing over your seven bux. Need proof? Cadbury.

Fortunately, I don’t have any health issues requiring visits to Dr’s, Specialists, tests and medication. I’m lucky in that respect. But, what if you are sick? My Twitter Pal @TeamOyeniyi has blogged comprehensively about her personal medical situation. When I read her blog, it was an eye-opener to the stark future for the ill when Abbott destroys Medicare completely.

You can read @TeamOyeniyi’s blog post here or over here on the AIMN website — for a personal perspective on Abbott’s changes to Medicare funding.

As Abbott destroys Medicare it’s feasible Australia will see a new category of homelessness — due to ill health. It could be you in that situation where your health deteriorates and bang! You’re destitute, unable to work, on the dole and on a downward spiral to homelessness.

Worse still, you may be able to meet rent payments, but suffering an untreated illness because you can’t afford medical treatment and medicines.

Keep your health — and the health of your parents and children — in mind when you vote next election.

The long term social effects to Australia as Abbott destroys Medicare by starving it of funds, seriously undermines our relatively unique universal health cares system — one of the last surviving legacies of the >ALP. It’s a purely ideology driven destruction of a social program which makes Australia a great society to live in.

And what’s happened to the MRFF?

There’s been no recent discussion about the MRFF presumably, its been dropped. If it has, then why on Earth is Abbott pressing on with his #GPTax?

The Abbott Government has go to go before Australia becomes America.


  1. Great article and thanks for the references to my work.

    You actually paint a more dismal picture than I did, but you are 100% correct, The situations you describe are quite possible. Probably, more likely.

    I’m drafting a follow-up to mine about the costs of delayed treatment, but still pulling the research together – it is scary.

    Yes, you are lucky right now: young and healthy. Sadly, there are no guarantees in life. I hope you stay healthy, but as you and I both agree, it could be any one of us at any time.

    A friend’s sister was diagnosed with colon cancer at 28. A co-worker at 38. Strokes don’t only happen to old people. Rheumatoid arthritis can strike at any age.

  2. Yes, Abbott and co are doing everything they can to put us into an early grave. I dread what will happen for future generations. Abbott obliterates everything that is uniquely Australian, most likely because in his heart of hearts, he’s still a Pom and admires Thatcher.

    When I hear of things like this, health problems with people so young, it makes me sad. I always feel incredibly fortunate to have gotten to this stage of life with not even a broken bone. I’m very lucky. I hope that your people are on the mend.

G'Day! Feel free to leave a Reply