Opposition declares war on cancer in budget reply

Labor leader Bill Shorten outlines $2.3 billion cancer care package.

Opposition declares war on cancer in budget reply

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten last night declared war on cancer.

In his budget reply in Canberra, days before a federal election is expected to be called, he outlined Labor plans – if elected – for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), tax cuts, education, apprenticeships, renewable energy, infrastructure works, recycling programs, affordable housing, a living wage and fairer pay for women. But he saved his biggest announcement for last – a $2.3 billion cancer care package, which he described as the most significant reform to Medicare since it was created by Bob Hawke in 1984.

He said bulk billing would be expanded to provide 6 million free scans and up to 3 million free consultations with oncologists and surgeons, which currently cost patients 40 per cent of the fee. Medicine for cancer patients would be cheaper through an expansion of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and a “guarantee” that every cancer medicine recommended by experts would be subsidised.

In addition, every MRI diagnostic machine would be eligible for Medicare rebates with Medicare items created for X-rays, ultrasounds, mammograms, CT scans and PET scans.

Mr Shorten described cancer as is the “greatest disease burden in Australia, carrying the greatest out-of-pocket costs in our healthcare system”.

He said nearly half of the 145,000 people diagnosed with cancer every year were more than $5000 out of pocket as a result of their diagnosis and treatment and more than a quarter were at least $10,000 out of pocket.

“Labor believes it should be your Medicare card, not your credit card, which guarantees access to quality healthcare in Australia,” he said.

“For so many people, cancer makes you sick and then paying for the treatment makes you poor.”

Mr Shorten also said Labor would continue to support scientists in their work and invest in cancer research and clinical trials.

Healthcare is a key concern among older Australians, with 44 per cent of respondents to YourLifeChoices’ 2019 Insights Survey saying their retirement was most influenced by health concerns. In the 2018 Retirement Matters Survey, healthcare was rated as the second biggest drain on savings (after energy costs).

Mr Shorten promised to match the Coalition’s personal tax cuts for low and middle-income earners if elected next month but opposed the second and third stages announced by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Tuesday. The tax offset is worth up to $1080 for 10 million workers from 1 July. He promised greater tax relief than the Coalition for 3.6 million workers earning up to $48,000.

Mr Shorten opened his speech by referring to a $1.6 billion government underspend on the NDIS despite forecasting a $7.1 million surplus in the 2019-20 financial year.

“We will lift the NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency) cap on staff numbers, so we can get the support out the door,” he said.

“We will put people with disability back at the centre of decision-making. And we will get the NDIS back on track.”

Is healthcare your biggest concern? Does the Opposition’s cancer package resonate with you?

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    COMMENTS

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    5th Apr 2019
    10:41am
    Bill Shorten declaring a war on cancer what a load of bollocks. Most research is being undertaken by privately owned institutes like Gaven, Ramsay etc. Billions are already being spent.
    This is just another of his MEDISCARE tales that will come to nothing.

    For me having Labor in power means I lose my franking credits which pay for all my Council and Water bills and nothing else. What he is suggesting is that I sell everything and become a full burden on the welfare system.
    As it stands if I could do without the $500 per fortnight my husband and I receive we would, however commonsense must prevail and this helps us with our day to day living expenses.
    I could never ever trust Bill Shorten and Labor with taking proper fiscal action, from past experience Labor spend, spend and spend without a thought about how the funds will be repaid.
    Golfer
    5th Apr 2019
    10:59am
    It's Bull Shitten at his best. When you see his lips move you know what to expect.
    Sen.Cit.90
    5th Apr 2019
    11:10am
    BS perfect initials for BS
    Old Geezer
    5th Apr 2019
    11:14am
    I haven't paid anything for both my cancer treatments. Even if you could get a couple of free scans merit of which is questionable that is minimal compared to the many thousands that self funded retirees will lose in their cashflow due to the stealth of franking credits.
    Karl Marx
    5th Apr 2019
    4:33pm
    Can't wait for Mr Shorten & the ALP to get into government & put a stop this FC, & negative gearing rorting.
    Frankly Franking Credits are double dipping. I got out of FC & shares as I saw the writing on the wall 6 months ago.
    Industry funds all the way, union representation on the board keeps it very honest & working for the members & not the shareholders & rich CEO's & Executives who only want more more more.
    Old Geezer
    5th Apr 2019
    8:12pm
    SFR it would cost me more in fees in industry funds than any franking credits I would have lost.

    However I have it all sorted now so that Labor won't get a cent from me. Many others have too so where is Labor going to get that $6 billion from if the only people with franking credits are those who can use them to pay less tax. Looks like Labor has been snookered on this unfair policy.
    Old Geezer
    5th Apr 2019
    8:14pm
    Wealthy people don't use negative gearing either so another miss for Labor.
    MICK
    5th Apr 2019
    9:20pm
    tactful: we lose a lot more than you but are you seriously going to vote for the current crooked lot who will continue to handout money to the wealthy and take it from you? Seriously. Its a tough choice but the current crooks should all be sent out with a bang and nobody should be so selfish as to vote for their bank account. Yes I know some will but this is selling your soul for a couple of dollars.
    Karl Marx
    5th Apr 2019
    10:51pm
    OG my Industry funds fees are less than 1% per annum
    Misty
    7th Apr 2019
    9:39pm
    Well Tactful you couldn't have litened to what BS said very well, because if you had you would have learned it is not about cures but treatment and support for families, especially those with children undergoing cancer treatment.
    Misty
    7th Apr 2019
    9:45pm
    Shoul read "listened", in comment above.
    Anonymous
    8th Apr 2019
    9:22am
    SFR, you don't even know what you are losing through an industry fund. Most never paid the full franking credits to retired members and if they did you will lose at least half. Funds are declaring that the average working member with 25 years left to work will be $125,000 worse off on retirement. Those now in pension phase will only not lose if they were already being duded.
    Anonymous
    8th Apr 2019
    9:25am
    No way will I let the stinking vile cheating union bastards control my life savings. That's Short-arse's goal. And what will he do with the money once he has control? He clearly hates anyone who works and saves responsibly, and he's richly rewarding all the bludging manipulators who wriggled their way onto part pensions despite being wealthy. The country is STUFFED if he gets control.
    Anonymous
    8th Apr 2019
    9:27am
    Misty, families with a cancer patient already get AMAZING support UNLESS THEY ARE WEALTHY or choose private care. Shorten is giving NOTHING to anyone in need. Only to the elitists like his mother who wouldn't mix with the common folk.
    Anonymous
    8th Apr 2019
    9:30am
    And what of families who have other health issues. I was plunged into $100,000 of debt in the early '70s with a child who had a neurological disease. Still no help for families with kids with that issue. I know a family with a child born with a genetic condition that requires $50,000 a year in therapies and special disability aids. They get $10K a year from NDIS and a few dollars a week carer allowance. Mother can't go to work. NOTHING for them, because it's not cancer.

    More Labor DISCRIMINATION and UNFAIRNESS. That's my issue with Labor. They are UNFAIR IN THE EXTREME.
    Paddington
    5th Apr 2019
    10:42am
    Oh wow this is magnificent news and a big surprise. Anyone who knocks this has to be crazy as it is such an amazing thing for everyone. It touches everyone, this awful cancer diagnosis! Even the wealthy will benefit from this. It is better than tax cuts or anything else that could be given to the Australian people. For poor people who go without all that they need to struggle through the cancer journey and fight it is so wonderful.
    If LNP had thought of this it would have been a winner for them too.
    There will be knockers but who cares it is great news!
    Old Geezer
    5th Apr 2019
    11:29am
    It is all available for free now.

    So it's nothing but BS big noting himself about nothing.
    Old Geezer
    5th Apr 2019
    11:30am
    The big struggle for most with cancer is they can't work and have no income for everyday expenses etc as they can't work. That does not change under Labor.
    Triss
    5th Apr 2019
    11:38am
    The unfortunate thing about government funding is, Paddington, that as soon as those billions are in the system the fees for medical consultations, treatment, etc will shoot up leaving patients not much better off and the medical providers with newer Porches and longer leaves.
    Sen.Cit.90
    5th Apr 2019
    12:17pm
    Spot On Triss
    KSS
    5th Apr 2019
    2:44pm
    And cancer is not the biggest killer in Australia. If he were genuinely wanting to help the sick, the diabetes and heart disease are bigger issues than cancer of any type.
    The problem here is that people still see cancer as a bug scary word that drives emotions and Mr Shorten knows that. By saying he will ensure there are no costs to patients for diagnoses or treatment he is bkatently lying. He has no control over the specialist fees or the private diagnosticians and their equipment. This is a promise that cannot actually be implemented and as OG said, treatment is already completely free for thise who need it. This looks to me like a back handed cynical grab for votes using the sick and their families to do so.
    Anonymous
    5th Apr 2019
    7:34pm
    Yes, KSS, there are so many other equally deserving diseases requiring attention which being ignored - so let those people suffer the costs and get ruined? Also, specialists can charge what they like - he never mentioned how that will not affect the patients.

    The real war on costs for patients should be on Medicare Gaps, and Private Fund Gaps. No guts from any politicians to address that? Maybe Morrison can grab this idea and trump Shorten!
    MICK
    5th Apr 2019
    9:22pm
    A good point Triss. It may be time to set fees for the rich surgeons who are also the main benefactors of negative gearing exemptions and franking credits.
    MICK
    5th Apr 2019
    9:23pm
    KSS: the rusted on comments from a government stoolie are well understood. You are getting progressively worse as the election draws closer. Sounds like you are on commission.
    Paddington
    5th Apr 2019
    11:36pm
    Not all specialists are greedy, there are plenty who do not overcharge. I have never paid my specialist anything extra. Tell your GP money is a consideration as there are plenty to choose from within a reasonable radius of most people except those who are remote.
    It will be noted any that decide to hike the price and they will be condemned for it.
    Have some faith people, this is a good thing, many will benefit and it will take the financial pressure off patients battling cancer.
    Go knock something bad and stop bashing such a great thing for so many people.
    Negativity on here is a bit tiresome!
    Anonymous
    6th Apr 2019
    3:33pm
    Maybe not all, but overall that's rubbish, Paddington. I personally have never come across a specialist (except a rare one in a hospital) who sticks to the Medicare fee. Maybe you have just been lucky, others haven't got that experience, or maybe there are a few who can't get patients - guess why? Let's not sugar-coat / believe everything a politician says - we all know about credibility in that profession!
    Misty
    7th Apr 2019
    9:37pm
    I don't know what universe a lot of you people who are commenting here live in but it isn't mine, every specialist I have ever had the misfortune to see has charged like a wounded bull, Medicare sometimes barely covers half, let alone the lot.
    Anonymous
    8th Apr 2019
    9:19am
    Specialists ARE greedy, but cancer is the one disease that ANYONE can get treatment for free - top quality treatment, virtually no delays, and a lot of other assistance besides medical care (travel subsidies, home nursing, free medicines, home help.... it goes on and on). But ONLY if you are prepared to accept top quality PUBLIC treatment.

    Shorten is miffed that his elitist rich mother had to pay because she refused to mix with the common folk. He wants the countless thousands who can't afford private health insurance to pay the gap fee for the rich and privileged.

    Nobody needs private care for cancer. Even if insured, you can CHOOSE to go public. So Shorten is ripping off the taxpayer for no benefit and all. And destroying the lives of good people to pay for it. ARSEHOLE
    maxchugg
    9th Apr 2019
    6:48pm
    OlderandWiser, I had cancer and went into a private hospital for surgery, fully insured. After I came home I began to think that the bills were never going to end, from people of whom I had previously heard nothing, but were assisting in all manner of ways, according to their bills, all of which were substantially higher than the scheduled fee. Then, as a volunteer for the Cancer Council for a period, I met people who had had identical surgery in a public hospital and paid nothing.

    The downside is that while the public system may be good for cancer, it's a very different story in other areas. A friend of mine maintained his health insurance all of his working life but was forced to drop it when he became a pensioner because he couldn't afford the premiums. He and I both developed cataracts, his much worse than mine. I was advised to have surgery early because I also have glaucoma and my surgery was completed within three months. My uninsured friend, so handicapped he eventually was no longer able to drive, waited 3 years for surgery on one eye, then a further two years for the second.

    Personally, if Labor must meddle with the health system, I think they would be better employed reducing the waiting period for uninsured patients
    maxchugg
    9th Apr 2019
    6:48pm
    OlderandWiser, I had cancer and went into a private hospital for surgery, fully insured. After I came home I began to think that the bills were never going to end, from people of whom I had previously heard nothing, but were assisting in all manner of ways, according to their bills, all of which were substantially higher than the scheduled fee. Then, as a volunteer for the Cancer Council for a period, I met people who had had identical surgery in a public hospital and paid nothing.

    The downside is that while the public system may be good for cancer, it's a very different story in other areas. A friend of mine maintained his health insurance all of his working life but was forced to drop it when he became a pensioner because he couldn't afford the premiums. He and I both developed cataracts, his much worse than mine. I was advised to have surgery early because I also have glaucoma and my surgery was completed within three months. My uninsured friend, so handicapped he eventually was no longer able to drive, waited 3 years for surgery on one eye, then a further two years for the second.

    Personally, if Labor must meddle with the health system, I think they would be better employed reducing the waiting period for uninsured patients

    5th Apr 2019
    10:44am
    Further to my earlier comment NDIS does not apply to those of us over 65, he thinks we are all stupid.
    Having spent sometime in the company of young Labor members who proudly say they are all Socialists I am greatly concerned for the future.
    tisme
    5th Apr 2019
    11:12am
    ive been diagnosed with breast cancer , have to go to the RBH for treatment how do I get there ?? if I was aboriginal from age 50 or everyone else from age 65 id qualify for aged care ( Im 58) cant afford centacare dont have a spare cent after rent and luxuries like electricity and such. health care is a big issue as is housing etc
    MICK
    5th Apr 2019
    9:24pm
    You have my condolences tisme. Hope it all works out for you.
    Misty
    7th Apr 2019
    9:54pm
    Can your family set up a Go fund Me page tisme?
    Anonymous
    8th Apr 2019
    9:14am
    There is a means-tested transport subsidy for people who have to travel for medical treatment, tisme. If you are genuinely financially disadvantaged and genuinely in need of treatment, your travel will be covered. Ask your local political representative to advise, or search the Internet.
    tisme
    5th Apr 2019
    11:12am
    ive been diagnosed with breast cancer , have to go to the RBH for treatment how do I get there ?? if I was aboriginal from age 50 or everyone else from age 65 id qualify for aged care ( Im 58) cant afford centacare dont have a spare cent after rent and luxuries like electricity and such. health care is a big issue as is housing etc
    Old Geezer
    5th Apr 2019
    11:26am
    There is a system that helps you pay to get there where everyone who has cancer gets it. Also Cancer Council will pay for your fuel if you drive yourself. Talk to Cancer Council and the breast nurses and they may even organise community transport. Support groups may also help with expenses too.
    Anonymous
    5th Apr 2019
    3:21pm
    Old Geezer - best advice you've ever given. Mate of mine from the bush got free accommodation from a Cancer Council hospice for 4 weeks to be near the facility in a capital city. Thanks for bringing it to folks' attention.
    Old Geezer
    5th Apr 2019
    3:27pm
    There is free cancer accommodation across the road from my closest regional hospital too for people who have to travel to undergo treatment. I have actually been shown through it and its at least a 4 star accommodation.
    paulo
    5th Apr 2019
    11:45am
    What a lowlife hippocrite. He was the one the stopped the funding of the PBS and stopped the medicines when the ALP was in power. Wonder how the cancer patients and the sick and infirmed felt then. Now they want to have another crack. For the sake of our country do not let this union/Green owned pack of inepts into power
    MICK
    5th Apr 2019
    9:26pm
    And the current batch are worth a pinch of sh*t? Your views are that of the failed LNP propaganda arm trying everything and anything to turn around the dhip they have lost control of. Do tell.
    Paddington
    6th Apr 2019
    11:01am
    “Limping” to the election is the LNP, after internal strife and turning on each other. Abbott could not even support Christopher Pyne during his farewell speech when Labor did. A well liked Christopher Pyne but not loved by the far right because he was a moderate.
    cupoftea
    5th Apr 2019
    12:06pm
    As the ALP have said if you don't like what we are going to do,ie Franking credits,Negative Gearing Don't vote for us you would never hear the LNP say that they haven't got it its called a backbone and now the tosser is crying on tv give the tosser an oscar
    Old Geezer
    5th Apr 2019
    12:21pm
    Labor way too cocky for me.
    MICK
    5th Apr 2019
    9:28pm
    Agree cupoftea.
    I suspect Bowen made a dumb political call but at the very least he is has drawn a line in the sand. Of course it will hurt SOME self funded retirees but then we'll survive.
    Greg
    6th Apr 2019
    12:12pm
    MICK - exactly, there's always someone who pays and someone who benefits. It's impossible to please everybody all the time unless we just rack up more and more debt.
    Anonymous
    8th Apr 2019
    9:00am
    Mick, he won't 'hurt' sone retirees. He'll totally demolish everything they worked for decades to achieve, leaving them losing $2 for every dollar earned until their savings have reduced to half and they haven't gained one cent of benefit - every penny of extra savings has gone to the taxpayer.

    That's not the worst of it. He'll make saving so disadvantageous for any but the rich that we'll all be on pensions costing the nation a fortune, and with all the other stupid handouts and taking from workers and savers, we'll end up with nothing more to take (because he's NEVER going to take from his rich mates and himself) and the country will be stuffed. Think Greece and Argentina.

    The problem is that BOTH parties want the same thing - a return to two classes: rich and slaves. It's just that Labor is going to get us there much faster.
    Anonymous
    8th Apr 2019
    9:05am
    Greg, you are funny! Labor is going to rack up more debt by the bucket load. You can't take from the people who are contributing and give to the people who are not unless you rack up more debt. Every self-funded retiree I know is planning how they will avoid loss and qualify for a pension MUCH MUCH MUCH SOONER. Hundreds of thousands are planning to cancel their private health and stop donating to charity. Hundreds of thousands are planning to shift to foreign investment - depriving Aussie companies of growth capital that creates jobs and growth.

    Labor's figures were ALWAYS wrong because they didn't factor in the TBC reforms. Nobody CAN factor in the psychological response of those who are being treated unfairly. What we CAN guarantee, though, is that when you start treating the populace with GROSS UNFAIRNESS - rewarding rich pensioners with massive benefits and screwing poor self-funded retirees with 30% tax on every cent they earn, you create a major disaster.

    Nobody with a brain would vote Labor while their current idiotic policies are on the table. They WILL destroy this country. LNP stinks. But both parties have the same goal and Labor will progress us there a lot quicker.
    cupoftea
    5th Apr 2019
    12:06pm
    As the ALP have said if you don't like what we are going to do,ie Franking credits,Negative Gearing Don't vote for us you would never hear the LNP say that they haven't got it its called a backbone and now the tosser is crying on tv give the tosser an oscar
    Captive8
    5th Apr 2019
    12:21pm
    Hello ...My Husband has had a long stint in Hospital for cancer with many drugs
    Chemo and operations,also my sister in-law has had breadt cancer,they never had to pay
    A cent ,only what drugs they need now on pbs..so where does Bill Shorten come up with this
    Idea.that cancer patients have to pay ..
    Old Geezer
    5th Apr 2019
    12:22pm
    He is relying on ignorant people not knowing this which I find is disgusting as it's using cancer to win votes.
    Sundays
    5th Apr 2019
    1:45pm
    My good frien with cancer has to pay because her health fund does not cover all her costs. She had to stop work for 6 months and is struggling financially. My husband had a scan for prostrate cancer and it cost $360. The only people I know who get free treatment are those who are not in a health fund.
    Old Geezer
    5th Apr 2019
    2:44pm
    Well I got everything free including scans.
    KSS
    5th Apr 2019
    2:48pm
    And that is the problem that needs fixing Sundays, not open slather on tax payers funds to fix a problem that doesn't exist under Medicare. I can almost guarantee there will be no change for private health patients and certainly no change to the loss of income as a result of Mr Shorten's largess.
    Paddington
    5th Apr 2019
    5:39pm
    I think the ignorance comes from people trying to downplay the significance of this or with some going further and rubbishing it. However, that does not change what a godsend this will be to so many families.
    Old Geezer
    5th Apr 2019
    8:08pm
    How Paddington? They will be no better off under Labor other than some fuzzy feel good stuff.
    MICK
    5th Apr 2019
    9:30pm
    People in private health insurance do have to pay. That is my understanding. So do some in the public system. You may be making generalisations here Captive8 but I await those who are experts in this to make further comments.
    Paddington
    6th Apr 2019
    11:08am
    You cannot wait to get into the public system. You need to get quick smart to the first private appointment you can get in order to start the process of diagnosis and treatment. A GP can send an urgent request to the public system and then the patient waits to be rung with an appointment. Well, I can tell you from experience don’t hold your breath for that appointment because we are still waiting.
    Greg
    6th Apr 2019
    12:19pm
    Some don't pay, true, bit many do pay unfortunately. And if in a health fund you usually pay big time. The hospital tries very hard for you to use your health fund and then the doctors will also charge higher fees knowing that you have a health fund. It's all a big con, this whole bloody country is full of professionals and tradies trying it on whenever they can. Obviously not all but plenty do, trying to find the good ones is hard, talk to others, talk to your GP and with some luck you may find a good one, obviously you also have the problem of their location, can you get there easily or at all, life can be a bitch.....and then you die.
    Misty
    7th Apr 2019
    10:01pm
    Yes you do pay if you are in a private fund, I had a partial Thyroidectomy some years ago and specialsts, radiographer and pathology fees left me hundreds out of pocket.
    Anonymous
    8th Apr 2019
    8:54am
    People who CHOOSE to have private care pay. So they should. Shorten is upset because his rich mother had to pay to not have to mix with ordinary folk in the public ward. Get stuffed greedy! Why should the taxpayer fund elite care for the wealthy? Some of can't even afford private health insurance.

    Cancer care IS FREE for public patients and it's first class quality all the way. Tell the selfish bastards who want to play 'better than thou' to pay their own bills. And that includes you, Misty. I can't afford private health, so why the hell should I subsidize your treatment. You can opt to go public even when insured.
    maxchugg
    9th Apr 2019
    7:23pm
    OlderandWiser, have I disputed your claims in the past? if so, I'm now wondering why.

    However I think you might be a little tough on Misty here. My experience tells me that you have severely limited choices when you are confronted with some illnesses and you are told by your specialist that he only operates in private hospitals.

    I'm guessing that if treatment at no cost in a public hospital within a reasonable time frame, Misty would have taken that option. But, I repeat, I'm guessing, have no idea why Misty went down the path of treatment as an insured patient although I do have a very good idea of how much could have been paid out in settlement of gap payments.
    maxchugg
    9th Apr 2019
    7:23pm
    OlderandWiser, have I disputed your claims in the past? if so, I'm now wondering why.

    However I think you might be a little tough on Misty here. My experience tells me that you have severely limited choices when you are confronted with some illnesses and you are told by your specialist that he only operates in private hospitals.

    I'm guessing that if treatment at no cost in a public hospital within a reasonable time frame, Misty would have taken that option. But, I repeat, I'm guessing, have no idea why Misty went down the path of treatment as an insured patient although I do have a very good idea of how much could have been paid out in settlement of gap payments.
    Aussie
    10th Apr 2019
    1:21am
    OlderandWiser .... a BIT OF RESPECT YOU BLOODY IDIOT IT IS Misty's CHOICE AND YOU ARE NOBODY TO TREAT HER LIKE THAT ......... QUOTE " And that includes you, Misty. I can't afford private health, so why the hell should I subsidize your treatment. You can opt to go public even when insured."

    Yes she paid and you can not afford to pay ....FELL SORRY FOR YOU ..... Poor person ... sorry we are very rich and can afford to pay for private .... you are jealous he he he he suffer
    Aussie
    10th Apr 2019
    1:29am
    Comments like OlderandWiser just did to Mity are the jealous people that killing the beauty of this forum and that is the reason why so many people no longer contribute or left the forum ..... Just not respect, understanding or compassion for others .....

    Sorry Misty I will not pay attention to people like that .... just no respect
    maxchugg
    10th Apr 2019
    1:11pm
    Comments on this site leave me baffled. One person will use every topic to promote his hatred for the current government and label anyone a troll who dares to not share his opinion, and frequently makes personal attacks upon people of whom he knows nothing.

    Now we have Aussie who, in one post, calls someone a "bloody idiot," then proceeds with another in which lament is expressed about how unsavoury comments are killing the beauty of this forum.

    When people react with unreasoning hostility to anyone who dares to question their point of view, surely this is a clear indication that they have no other means of supporting their opinions.
    maxchugg
    10th Apr 2019
    1:11pm
    Comments on this site leave me baffled. One person will use every topic to promote his hatred for the current government and label anyone a troll who dares to not share his opinion, and frequently makes personal attacks upon people of whom he knows nothing.

    Now we have Aussie who, in one post, calls someone a "bloody idiot," then proceeds with another in which lament is expressed about how unsavoury comments are killing the beauty of this forum.

    When people react with unreasoning hostility to anyone who dares to question their point of view, surely this is a clear indication that they have no other means of supporting their opinions.
    Aussie
    5th Apr 2019
    1:25pm
    Is any politician considering essential Dental services like fillings or Root canal ????

    I just done a Root Canal service in Thailand because I can not afford to do it in Sydney and got a nice holidays in the process .....

    Medicare cover for dental will never come for us we have to go to the free gov. dental places and been service by an apprentice from overseas or local students practising with your Thees ...... Great stuff ....Bugger that I go for holidays to Thailand and fix my thees or do a full clean up for 30 dollars
    Old Geezer
    5th Apr 2019
    2:46pm
    What happens if something goes wrong? You are not covered by travel insurance.
    Anonymous
    5th Apr 2019
    3:27pm
    What does the dentist earn? Aussie wages, does he have to pay insurance premiums like Aussie ones? Now for once compare Australia with other places like I do. I know all about cheap holidays in Asia where no one gets any decent wage. My union member buddies swear by decent pay but take their leave in Asia. You get good money here, spend it here as well, your countrymen/women need it.
    Aussie
    5th Apr 2019
    7:22pm
    OG ... I take all the measurements I can to be sure .... but if something goes wrong the tooth have to be taken out and control any infections ...but I really do not care ... so far so good no problems and no worries I have been to my local dentist in Sydney and ask to take X-ray of the Root Canal done in Thailand and he say is all Ok and charge me AU$300 for the consultation and x rays .....
    Aussie
    5th Apr 2019
    7:42pm
    Cowboy Jim .... I travel out of AU 2 times a year and stay several month in Bali, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and some times China .... Please do not tell me to spend my money here in AU ...... I only get the basic pension no extra no rental absolutely nothing ..... so I will ask you the following questions and I promise if you can prove to me that I can do the same in Sydney or anywhere in Australia I will stay here for ever and only take local holidays ....here is.

    PROVE TO ME THAT I CAN LIVE ANYWHERE IN AUSTRALIA AS FOLLOWS:

    1 - RENT A UNIT OR HOME WITH WATER VIEWS AND JUST WALK ACROSS THE BEACH AND PAY AU$180 X MONTH OR LESS.
    2 - EAT OUT ON A NICE RESTAURANT ALMOST EVERY DAY FOR DINNER FOR ABOUT AU$10 TO 15 DOLLARS OR LESS - 3 COURSE MEAL (No Wine just Coke)
    3 - ANY MEDICAL NEEDS ARE PAY CASH AND SOME ARE FREE LIKE BLOOD PRESSURE AND GENERAL CHECK UP ON THE LOCAL DOCTORS SURGERY.
    4 - I SAVE MONEY FOR MY RETURN TICKET EVERY 6 MONTH TO SEE MY KIDS (AIR ASIA AVERAGE AU$ 500 OR LESS)

    AND MORE AND MORE

    Only those 4 i have a lot more but if you can not prove i can do the same in Australia please keep your opinion to yourself and do not tell me what to do with my money or my life.

    And you are telling me that my country Man and woman need it ???? come on .... I spend my money here and overseas and if you do not like me doing that is your problem not mind ..... you are not my wife or Dad to tell me what to do with my money......

    So prove it to me if I can do the same in Australia else keep very silence please

    Now you can insult me and call me all kind of names .... he he he he is your problem
    MICK
    5th Apr 2019
    9:32pm
    OG - are you covered if a birds poops on you from afar? You really are just trying to scatter sensible conversations mate. This is the model when you are losing a discussion, or in this case the election.
    Greg
    6th Apr 2019
    12:21pm
    OG - "What happens if something goes wrong? You are not covered by travel insurance."

    What happens here if something goes wrong, nothing, you go back to the dentist and he fixes HIS mistake and charges you again. Seen it happen with relatives.
    floss
    5th Apr 2019
    2:25pm
    From past experience this is great news how could anyone with a ounce of compassion put a mean spin on it shame on you.What in the name of god has franking credits to do with it.O.G.YOU NEED HELP.
    Old Geezer
    5th Apr 2019
    2:41pm
    Franking credits have everything to do with cancer when you rely on them to live.
    Paddington
    5th Apr 2019
    5:37pm
    Floss, the good thing about the cancer help is that it actually benefits everyone either directly or indirectly. People are going to spit on it but that does not change how marvellous this is. I have heard people hang up the phone instead of booking tests that they really need because of the cost. It is a winner for sure.
    MICK
    5th Apr 2019
    9:32pm
    OG - don't expect any government to treat you like a princess. Oops...that may be sexist.
    Greg
    6th Apr 2019
    12:23pm
    OG - But you don't need to to live, there's other ways to invest and obtain an income. Get over it sooky.
    Aussie
    6th Apr 2019
    2:29pm
    MICK ... do not be sorry he/she is a princess ...we do not know if OG is a Man or lady ...so maybe princess he he he he he/she is not public knowledge
    BillF2
    5th Apr 2019
    2:30pm
    Like most politicians, Bill Shorten is good at grandstanding when it comes to spending other people's money. (Don't ask about his requests for fuel money for his election bus).
    Like all (conditional) pre-election commitments, the cancer funding proposal looks good - at least good enough to attract a few votes. But will the reality be so promising? Cancer is not the only illness Australians suffer from, and there are plenty more which cost an arm and a leg - literally. Typical of the political approach to any problem, the solution is to throw money at it - especially when it helps mates. The one question that is never asked is why we have the problem in the first place. Why is there so much sickness, including cancer? And why, in spite of our 'world class' health system, is it getting worse? A little more intelligent research into these matters by our politicians, rather than cash splashes, might produce outcomes that benefit all Australians.
    Misty
    7th Apr 2019
    10:07pm
    What about the PM delaying the announcement of the election date for a week, so he can travel the xountry, make election ads, all on OUR TAX PAYER DOLLARS, BillF2 what about that?.
    Aussie
    7th Apr 2019
    11:43pm
    Misty .... he need a miracle now ...have a read to this .....

    https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/comment-morrison-has-had-one-miracle-and-now-he-needs-another/ar-BBVEoF4?li=AAgfYrC
    Anonymous
    8th Apr 2019
    8:48am
    Cancer treatment is FREE ALREADY. Shorten is a con man lying to the public to stir up emotion,
    Anonymous
    8th Apr 2019
    8:50am
    And BTW. Public cancer patients are looked after incredibly well, with transport, home nursing, home help... it goes on and on (as it should). A relative died of cancer and her partner said the best thing they ever did was cancel their private health insurance, because NOTHING was charged. NOTHING. And she had the very best of care from day one to the end, with family counselling and household help and food parcels continuing after her passing.
    Ted Wards
    5th Apr 2019
    4:21pm
    One of the issues with cancer treatments is daily transport to and from the treatment centre. For older people without cars this is a very costly issue, especially if they don't have family and friends. Maybe some money to assist with transport would go a long way to assist as well. Even those with half price taxi vouchers find it very costly.
    Old Geezer
    5th Apr 2019
    4:46pm
    There is a system that rebates the costs of transport for cancer patients and also community transport is available in most areas. I recently took a cancer patient into a hospital for surgery as they wanted them in at an early hour and community transport couldn't help them. A support group rang and asked for my help.
    Old Geezer
    5th Apr 2019
    4:46pm
    There is a system that rebates the costs of transport for cancer patients and also community transport is available in most areas. I recently took a cancer patient into a hospital for surgery as they wanted them in at an early hour and community transport couldn't help them. A support group rang and asked for my help.
    MICK
    5th Apr 2019
    9:34pm
    Geez. The man makes a wonderful offer and you get the narks having a go at him because he did not cut off his left arm as well as his right one.
    Give it a break guys and show some appreciation for being given something which may save you or your family a heap of out of pocket costs. Called GRATITUDE.
    Anonymous
    8th Apr 2019
    8:47am
    Given what, Mick> Shorten gave NOTHING that cancer patients don't already have unless they are rich like his mother and demand PRIVATE treatment. They actually get equal care and more benefits if they go public. Let those who want private care pay. Why should we subsidize the wealthy just because greedy Short-arse's mother wasn't happy to mix with the ordinary folk
    Suzie
    5th Apr 2019
    9:58pm
    There are a lot of cancer treatments that are not on the cheap list , like the one my husband needs that is $3000 a month but we cannot afford this on the aged pension and I can assure you we didn't wish for my husband to get cancer when we retired his oncologist is hoping that this treatment will be reduced in price soon ...! But how soon is soon , most likely to late to help my husband , but I hope it helps other unfortunate people who have cancer and like us have tried all other avenues of treatment, don't know how many of you are like me and have to watch my husband of 59yrs fade away because we cannot afford to keep him alive .not a very nice way to exist
    Paddington
    5th Apr 2019
    11:40pm
    So sorry Susie, I hope this kicks in for your husband in time.
    Suzie
    6th Apr 2019
    6:55am
    Thanks Paddington , I do too .i don't know a lot about politics but if someone can help people with cancer who are not millionaires , it sounds ok to me ,
    I often think when so much money is wasted in floral tributes for things like bombings and shootings etc , how much more worthy it would be to just leave a card or something and make a donation to all the medical research around , seems to me to just be money thrown away , as most of those floral arrangements cost $100 of dollars
    Just my opinion !I know lots will disagree
    Anonymous
    8th Apr 2019
    8:45am
    Suzie, cancer treatment IS FREE in public hospitals. The only people Shorten is subsidizing are those (like his rich mother) who demand private care - and if they can afford it, why should the taxpayer subsidize them? Public care for cancer patients is first class all the way. I had a close relative die of cancer and she had a friend who also passed away. The friend went private and paid a fortune. My relative went public and paid NOTHING but got EXACTLY the same care - same ward, beds side by side, same nursing, same doctors, same treatment, same wait times (virtually nil). The biggest difference was my relative ALSO got free home nursing and contacts with voluntary aid organisations to provide transport to doctors and hospital, child care, home help, gifts for the kids, family counselling and even food parcels.
    AM
    8th Apr 2019
    3:56pm
    I had breast cancer 2 years ago and all scans, mri were free in Public Hospital. I decided to go private and used my savings for radiation in private hospital (INCLUDING MY SURGERY) i DID NOT WANT TO HOLD UP RADIATION USAGE OF OTHERS IN PUBLIC HOSPITAL SO I USED MY SAVINGS. My gap payment exceeded the pensioner threshold and therefore Medicare paid 90% of my radiation costs in a PRIVATE HOSPITAL. My continous scans are done yearly in a Private Imaging Company and all is paid for by Medicare including my bone scans due to my bones thinning because of medication therapy. When you reach your Medicare Threshold, Medicare pays all your medical costs. Please check out MEDICARE THRESHOLD especially as a pensioner. I have 3 more years of treatment and do not appreciate Bill Shorten using lack of medicare for cancer when medicare has been more than generous.
    Adrianus
    9th Apr 2019
    12:55pm
    AM, sorry to hear of your circumstances, but I am pleased that you are getting the best of care. Bill Shorten is out of touch.
    Adrianus
    9th Apr 2019
    8:40am
    Nice words from Bill Shorten, but as with many of his statements, it lacks the sincerity of factual data. Its simply a callous heart tugger just like the statement made in the 2015 campaign .. "elect me and I will halve suicides." Anyone with cancer now is getting much better treatment then they were getting 8 years ago, and its at no cost.


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