Will you pay more to see your GP?

Changes to the Medicare rebate will take effect from Monday 19 January.

Changes to the Medicare rebate, which take effect from Monday 19 January, may see patients pay more for GP consultations. Will you be asked to pay more?

The Medicare rebate for consultations less than 10 minutes in duration is being reduced from $37.05 to $16.95. Level B visits, as they are known, currently receive the full Medicare rebate, but in legislation pushed through by the Federal Government on 23 December 2014, they will now be subject to a rebate reduction of $20.10.

For those who are bulk billed, this change will have no effect, however, it may mean that some GPs will no longer offer a bulk-billing service. It may also result in GPs having a minimum 10-minute consultation policy, which will decrease the number of appointments available and increase waiting room times.

Those who pay for GP services will receive the lower Medicare rebate on short consultations, leaving them $20.10 out of pocket.

This change is on top of the $5 cut to all Medicare rebates for non-concessional patients that will take effect from 1 July 2015 and will result in an $11.95 rebate being paid for appointments under 10 minutes.

Indexation of Medicare rebates has also been frozen until 2018.

The changes to the rebates could however, be short lived, with Parliament returning in February and the opportunity for members of the Senate to vote for disallowance. Due to the government’s majority in the House of Representatives, the bill will pass the lower house, but will need Senate endorsement or it will face a motion of disallowance.

Three independent senators, Jacqui Lambie, Ricky Muir and Nick Xenophone, have already voiced opposition to these changes to Medicare. The support of Labor and Greens members, as well as one more crossbencher, is required to achieve the 39 votes it will take to reverse the proposed change. While the Labor cabinet has not yet met, Bill Shorten has made his feelings about the policy clear while campaigning for the Queensland election. "More Queenslanders will have to wait when they are sick and will end up going into the medical system later when they are sicker," he said. And Labor’s health spokeswoman Catherine King said that “Labor has always defended Medicare”.

Read more at TheAge.com.au.

Opinion: Poor policy replaces poor policy

In a week when it has been revealed that Peter Dutton is ranked by GPs as the worst Health Minister in 35 years, the outlook isn’t much brighter for his replacement. A survey of 1100 GPs conducted by Australian Doctor magazine saw an overwhelming 46 per cent of those surveyed voting Mr Dutton as the worst Health Minister in living memory. For anyone who is interested, Nicola Roxon, who held the post under a Labor government from 2009 to 2011, came in second with 17 per cent of the vote. And Tony Abbott, who held the post in John Howard’s government from 2003 to 2007, came third with 13 per cent of the vote.

While you could argue that new Minister for Health, Susan Ley, won’t have to do much to be rated more highly than her predecessor, the odds are definitely stacked against her. Thrown under the proverbial bus, Susan Ley will have to try and steer through the Senate one of the least popular motions amongst GPs and their patients.

This move is designed to cover the projected savings lost with the abolition of the unpopular proposed $7 GP co-payment. The government was clearly kidding itself if it thought that this equally damaging rebate change would slide through unnoticed. Cutting $20 from the rebate received by GPs and those patients who do not qualify for bulk-billing is, quite frankly, one of the most ridiculous examples of policy on the run the that Australian public has been asked to accept.

Trying to see a GP is difficult enough as it is, and for those whose needs are simple, an appointment which is shorter than 10 minutes often fits the bill. A prescription for antibiotics, a referral renewal or a follow-up appointment for a previous diagnosis doesn’t take long, but still requires a visit to the GP. To punish GPs for facilitating such patients’ needs and patients for not needing to see a GP for more than 10 minutes is farcical.

This is simply replacing one piece of poor policy with another. So good luck Susan Ley in your first challenge in your new role. You’re going to need it.

What do you think?

Do you think the rebate reduction will result in fewer GPs offering bulk-billing, or increased wait time to see a GP? Will you have to pay more to see your GP?





    COMMENTS

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    PlanB
    14th Jan 2015
    9:55am
    If these Bastards had to rely on the health scheme AND normal wages etc, they would not be so ready to implement such Draconian measures. A pox on them all!
    Kato
    14th Jan 2015
    12:00pm
    Abbott as health minister .
    Funding cuts to hospitals, his rejection of a ban on junk food advertising and his controversial refusal to allow access to abortion drug RU486 – later overturned by a conscience vote in Parliament
    Precious 1
    14th Jan 2015
    12:52pm
    Nasty
    particolor
    14th Jan 2015
    2:44pm
    I think they already have CHICKEN Pox ??
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    4:34pm
    I have to laugh when I see the results of people with good intentions having their political voice.
    Nobody should be surprised that this government is wiping its feet on average Australians whilst promoting the lie of "fixing the budget" which it has no intention of doing.
    Your choice next time around Australians. Unless we all want to be under further attack my suggestion, as always, is to find the best Independent you can find and vote for him/her. If you get it wrong then you know what to do next election. If you get it right you will know.
    Kato
    14th Jan 2015
    6:36pm
    Ive Ive got measles. I need a Doc.Do you think I could drop into parliament hase and see him . bulk billing in there.
    particolor
    15th Jan 2015
    7:27am
    And a Stut Stutter !!.. Clive still Bulk Bills !! But He hasn't submitted them for Payment yet !!
    wally
    15th Jan 2015
    9:59am
    In a popularity contest, Santa Claus always wins over Scrooge in this Age of Entitlement. The results are no surprise, and neither are the responses from the usual Labor stooges and Abbott haters.
    Kato
    15th Jan 2015
    10:29pm
    The LNP have renamed themselves Queen another one bites the dust. Suck on those eggs Wally.
    pixii
    14th Jan 2015
    10:22am
    I thought the Medicare tax levy paid by everyone was to cover this exact thing ! Going to the doctor , and reasonable pricing. In the long distant past , when Medicare was first introduced, if s patient had Private Health cover the gap could be claimed, but that was done away with too ,
    niemakawa
    14th Jan 2015
    3:25pm
    No the Medicare Levy is used to pay for concession card holders who are bulked billed. Another donation by the taxpayer to this group. They have a good life all up.
    Misty
    14th Jan 2015
    4:55pm
    No good trying to defend the indefensible niemakawa, they are digging their own grave so fast with their underhand policies I can't see them lasting another 2 years.
    Paulodapotter
    14th Jan 2015
    7:09pm
    Niemakawa - rubbish!
    MITZY
    17th Jan 2015
    9:47am
    niemakawa: If you saw or heard Sussan Ley discussing the amount of people that are bulk billed and shouldn't be, then we all know the Medicare levy is paying for more than concession card holders. In fact many concession card holders including myself are not bulk billed. I'm certainly not being "donated" to. I note your leader has been rather quiet on this one, it took a woman to bail him out and I think she will be a good health minister. It will take a good woman to guts it out with a group of M.C.P's.
    SteveR
    14th Jan 2015
    10:44am
    Putting aside the sneaky, flawed, unfair policy initiative, I don't think the results of the doctors' survey are worth too much. Apparently, the worst Health Minister by a long way is the current one. The one before him is second worst and Abbott from 8 or so years ago is next worst. Sounds like the greater the number of years since you were Minister, the better you were! More than half the doctors surveyed wouldn't have even been practising 35 years ago and, regardless, there wasn't the same necessity then to sort out the government's finances.
    Kato
    14th Jan 2015
    11:25am
    Remember James Hardy and Asbestos. Abbott was there.That should give you a clue to the fact that in all that time he has learnt nothing .Now that's a long time to sup on the public trough.
    Kato
    14th Jan 2015
    11:58am
    Mr Abbott’s worst month came in October 2007 when he was forced to apologise for implying that Bernie Banton, an asbestos compensation advocate, was “not pure of heart”.
    Jen
    14th Jan 2015
    2:28pm
    And it was Julie Bishop, lawyer, who fought a dying asbestos victim, till his dying breath to stop his payout. They're all tarred with the same brush. How the hell did we get ourselves in this mess, with these disgusting people "ruling" us. And still we sink deeper into the mire.
    particolor
    14th Jan 2015
    2:48pm
    Back in the days when we spoke English in Australia !!
    niemakawa
    14th Jan 2015
    3:42pm
    Particolor you've been reading too many Centrelink brochures!
    particolor
    14th Jan 2015
    4:03pm
    I think that's what I was talking about ? I picked up one Written in Arabic ?? I think its still on the floor there ??
    niemakawa
    14th Jan 2015
    4:06pm
    Particolor tell the truth you got on your knees to pray!
    biddi
    14th Jan 2015
    5:22pm
    :)))))))
    Ruthie
    14th Jan 2015
    5:45pm
    And don't forget Julie Bishop, who defended James Hardie in court!
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    6:26pm
    Kato: do you think the same will happen with the (claimed) 'bad' Carbon Tax? What about the Mining Tax? And to add insult to injury what about "you have high electricity prices because of the Carbon Tax"?
    Ok, I guess we can all take our pick as there are plenty of lies to choose from.
    particolor
    15th Jan 2015
    7:34am
    Ill tell You in a week Mick when the next Extortion Demand arrives !!.. I'll compare it with the last ones and tell You if Big Louie has put the rates up !! :-(
    Adrianus
    15th Jan 2015
    7:37am
    mick, your BS knows no bounds. When a tax is added to a service it definitely makes it more expensive in direct proportion to the amount of tax.
    wally
    15th Jan 2015
    10:26am
    parti, I think you need a nice new, thicker prayer rug. Beating your forehead on the floor five times a day toward Mecca can't be all that good for you, despite what Allah and his prophet says.
    MICK
    15th Jan 2015
    1:00pm
    Frank: you are a paid commercial. Your posts are, as expected, for the grooming of readers so that they vote Liberal at the next election. You are losing the battle!
    Anonymous
    15th Jan 2015
    4:34pm
    The taxpayers of the country will decide the outcome of the election.
    Anonymous
    15th Jan 2015
    4:38pm
    Re Julie Bishop defending James Hardie. A lawyer defends a client whether guilty or innocent surely everyone knows that! It is up to a jury to decide guilt or innocence.
    particolor
    15th Jan 2015
    9:12pm
    There's a couple of Sick Chooks on this Site !!
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    9:20am
    Yes Radish (F),
    Surely, people realize that lawyers
    who practise law,
    defend people in their work
    regardless of their personal views !

    Those who keep bringing up the asbetos issue
    don't seem to have a clue about the
    profession of law.
    Dukki
    14th Jan 2015
    10:52am
    THis another example of the rich getting richer and the poorer getting poorer. I dnt mind paying a nominal fee, but what about the pollies and their ability to get so much for nothing if tey were not getting all their perks for life then here would be enough money in the coffers to pay people to go to the doctors. that is what annoys me !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    SGW
    14th Jan 2015
    11:58am
    Remember, the age of entitlement is over, except for us, sneers Joe Hockey
    Theo1943
    15th Jan 2015
    1:43pm
    Whilst sucking on his Havana.
    pete@nakedhydroponics
    14th Jan 2015
    11:02am
    This is another classic example of an ideological argument making perfect sense until...
    Why should doctors get the same fee for a 10 minute consult. as for a 20 minute one? Seems unfair, except in most instances people are paid by the hour, or minimum increments of -say 20 minutes.
    In practice, it's hard to imagine the vast majority of doctors accepting this quietly, and not just passing on the costs to their patients, so effectively the patient is made to pay for a perceived unfair payment system to doctors.
    Another policy FAIL.
    Adrianus
    14th Jan 2015
    1:39pm
    I think if a worker decides to have Monday off then trots along to the Doc for a chit which takes all of 3 minutes then who should pay the $70. You and me pete?
    Jen
    14th Jan 2015
    2:30pm
    Oh give up Frank. It's not working.
    particolor
    14th Jan 2015
    2:55pm
    Give Me $420 an hour ?? Id only have to work 2 Hours a fortnight !! Some of them Know as much about Medicine as Granny Clampett ??
    Patriot
    14th Jan 2015
    6:05pm
    Particolor,
    MOST of the just "regurgitate" the lines as thought to the by "Big Phatma".
    Just fix the symtoms - stuff if the cause perpetuates itself!
    It just makes sure we're coming back for another session.
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    6:29pm
    Personally, i do not have a problem with a review of Medicare and especially Social Security rorting. Where I have a real issue is politicians of ANY persuasion intentionally lying to voters and then doing the (immediate) turn around. I consider this to be the same as a breach of contract.
    Kato
    14th Jan 2015
    6:33pm
    Granny Clampets medicine didn't hurt Elly May :)
    Kato
    14th Jan 2015
    6:34pm
    Ellie as well :) she sure made me feel well.
    Paulodapotter
    14th Jan 2015
    7:16pm
    Oh, come on Frank! Are all your pictures so small?
    particolor
    14th Jan 2015
    8:56pm
    Yes! Patriot And I know a few people that fall for it all the time ..."Ill see You next week Mr Smith!" " to check Your Medication ?" They must think we are Rolling in Rupees !!
    Adrianus
    15th Jan 2015
    7:42am
    Paulo, you can do better than that.
    oasis1frog
    14th Jan 2015
    11:03am
    People are so stupid, nothing is free, we all pay, the current medicare arrangement is open to any GP who care to rort ! Public purse funding private business never a good idea.
    Kato
    14th Jan 2015
    11:16am
    Bit like funding government. But of course we wouldn't have rorting going on there would we.
    btony
    14th Jan 2015
    11:49am
    Medicare was never a private business
    Adrianus
    14th Jan 2015
    12:42pm
    Kato I agree. A lot less over the last 12 months.
    Adrianus
    14th Jan 2015
    12:44pm
    oasis1frog, You are absolutely correct. The problem is a great proportion of the population think someone else should pay their way.
    jeffr
    14th Jan 2015
    1:35pm
    Oasis..why do we have a Medicare Levy, which has been increased and can you please tell me what that money is for?
    General Practice Dr's I would say are 99% hon
    est, not like the PM who claimed for a private wedding etc:etc:
    Hasbeen
    14th Jan 2015
    1:50pm
    Get ready to pay a whole lot more for a lot of things. It was ordained when Labor introduced the NBN, Gonski & the Disability insurance scheme among other things, then shot the golden egg laying goose.

    People had better decide what is important to them, & what isn't, then start lobbying. A whole lot of handouts are going to have to be cut, by which ever government is in Canberra.

    If you don't understand yet, let me say it again. Much of this, & even more pain to come, was planned by a red headed bitch, who laid minefields for whoever replaced her.

    I don't know anyone who voted for her, so it must have been you lot. Suck it up, & enjoy the result.

    If this isn't enough, put them back in, & find some real pain.
    Misty
    14th Jan 2015
    5:01pm
    Frank, a lot less over the last 6 months?, really, and how would you know?, do you have access to government documents that the rest of us don't?.
    Misty
    14th Jan 2015
    5:18pm
    Really Hasbeen your colours are showing and if this is the sort of language the Liberal supporters use I hope the rest of the people commenting on here condemn them.
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    6:31pm
    Don't give politicians a new idea oasis1frog. Next they'll be taxing us to breath.
    I am waiting until batteries come into production which will store the energy people generate from their rooftops. I am willing to bet that we will be hit with a 'service availability charge'.
    Blossom
    14th Jan 2015
    7:19pm
    NO Btony, Medicare was never private. Private health funds paid rebates for GP bills.
    I don't know if the Govt, paid Private Health funds a subsidiary at all. I know my Mum definitely took Dr's account to medical health insurance and lodged claims for them.
    Paulodapotter
    14th Jan 2015
    7:24pm
    Oasis, do you support the IPA, mate?
    KSS
    14th Jan 2015
    9:26pm
    With the exception of a current trial in QLD I believe, private health insurance doe NOT cover GP visits under law!
    Oars
    15th Jan 2015
    5:42am
    I have never seen a poor Doctor. They live in a cotton wool commercial environment that no other professional has. I have witnessed their party chat, (when serving their tables), and it goes " what is your new Jag like anything like the old Merc ???" Tutty tut tut- then swig on a Don Perrion or some flash plonk. But they never tipped me !!!
    MICK
    15th Jan 2015
    3:58pm
    I think you may be being a bit tough on the medicos. But they are a bit of a type. Your story reminds me of an article I read about the Kosh brothers who own oil interests and are in the top 100 rich in the world. The story came from one of the porters who worked in the exclusive apartment where these two lived. One Christmas they were taking off and the porters lugged dozens of huge bags down to their car. One of the Kosh brothers then got out his cheque book and wrote a CHECK for $50. Merry Christmas slaves. Hope the cheque did not bounce.
    Anonymous
    16th Jan 2015
    1:36pm
    No matter what any of us think there is a health funding crisis and something has to be done. Look around you, see all the overweight people who will inevitably have health problems. Where is the money going to come from to treat everyone?

    I would be happy to pay a bit more for a doctor's visit if it meant a more viable medicare system.
    Misty
    16th Jan 2015
    3:56pm
    The trouble is Radish the co payment isn't going to Medicare.
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    5:15pm
    If there's a good chance that we are able to keep Medicare
    in the future, I think everyone paying a bit more,
    would be a small price to pay.

    Losing Medicare, now that would make
    hospital & Dr. visits hard to bear for many
    & doesn't even bear thinking about.
    Misty
    16th Jan 2015
    5:34pm
    That would be ok miss aisle if the money went to Medicare but it isn't.
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    6:46pm
    Since when did you become treasurer, Misty ?
    Misty
    17th Jan 2015
    1:17am
    Just stating what is being reported miss aisle, the money from the co-payment was to go to the Future Fund not Medicare.
    ray @ Bondi
    14th Jan 2015
    11:19am
    god we have all voted for the worst political party ever, we were made to think the labor guys were bad, and I think we were all brainwashed into zombies, there should be some way a government can be forced to the lections early
    btony
    14th Jan 2015
    11:53am
    Those who voted LNP were all brainwashed, not all of us voted for them.
    That should get Frank, Solomon ,miss aisle and K S S coming up with some justification for the screwover.
    Precious 1
    14th Jan 2015
    12:46pm
    Its a very good place here to let off steam for seniors mostly .......lolololol.......its a good job we are all different cos if we weren't we would all be social outcats......
    particolor
    14th Jan 2015
    3:03pm
    Its a very Poor Circus with only One Clown !!.. Lead them in btony !! :-) :-) :-) < Audience !!
    Misty
    14th Jan 2015
    5:04pm
    And how boring that would be Precious 1.
    Ruthie
    14th Jan 2015
    5:55pm
    Tony Abbott's Mantra:
    I love a sunburnt country
    A Land of knights and dames
    Of bigots, racists, xenophobes
    And voters with no brains.

    Seriously how could anyone vote for this mob. Abbott is pathological liar. I doubt he could even lie straight in bed. His only qualification to get the job of leader of his party was that he said climate change is absolute crap!! His destructive policies say much about this man, who as far as anyone knows still holds British citizenship, which disqualifies him of not only being PM but also of holding a position in parliament. Bring on the next election.
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    6:36pm
    Ray: I blame the media which is NOT unbiased and which ran a propaganda campaign where the facts were sanitized so that this government got in. The fact that there was mass lying from Abbott and a number of other Liberals seems to have escaped our media....which painted quite another picture, which was untrue.
    A lesson for us all Ray: take more interest and take the main media and Current Affairs programs with a very very large grain of salt. I spent a lot of time online and it was clear what we were getting because most of the demonizing was plain false. Had other Australians done the same they also would have known and not be duped.
    Paulodapotter
    14th Jan 2015
    7:28pm
    I love it Ruthie. Can I quote you? Mick, don't tell me you figured out that Murdoch was behind the LNP's success at the last election?
    Adrianus
    15th Jan 2015
    7:49am
    Paulo, mick, I suppose if labor return at some time all credit will be given to YLC? How does it feel when you think that everyone else is only half as smart as yourself?
    particolor
    15th Jan 2015
    8:20am
    You'll wonder where Yer Smartness went ??
    When Yer Teams in Power and Heaven Sent !!
    MICK
    15th Jan 2015
    1:02pm
    Frank: more liberal party advertising mate? So do you get bonuses as well as your retainer for services rendered?
    Theo1943
    15th Jan 2015
    1:54pm
    Frank, I don't think Paulo and Mick think you are half as smart as them
    guyra2
    14th Jan 2015
    11:53am
    I'm with you Plan B ....Politicians will never feel the pinch of the economy as so many of us do
    It should be Pro rata if it comes into effect...if they get 50 times more than pensioners do they should be forced to pay accordingly......And for everything else they now get gratis
    air fares...cars etc.......I wonder how much that would do to help the Budget???
    particolor
    14th Jan 2015
    3:24pm
    That will be 3,500 Bucks please Mr Abbott for the Consultation ! Now report the Nurse !!
    particolor
    15th Jan 2015
    7:46am
    She will book You in to have 4 inches removed from Your Nose !!
    DavidB
    14th Jan 2015
    11:57am
    A good move by the government. Stop greedy GPs pushing patients through with 6 minute consults where nothing in the patient's interest can realistically be achieved. Even the AMA have said they want the short consults stopped; now they are whinging about it! Consults over 10 minutes are not affected, you can all still keep your hands in your pockets.

    Debbie, can I please take you to task over your headline for this article? Very sensationalist and misleading, trying to scare readers into a political view.

    Hands up who here regularly sees the GP for an under 10 minute consult... Personally I have never... read that as NEVER... seen a GP for less than 10 minutes, so nothing changes.
    miss aisle
    14th Jan 2015
    12:17pm
    I never have either, DavidB.
    We're getting side-tracked from what is really important.
    SteveR
    14th Jan 2015
    12:22pm
    I have seen a Dr many times for less than 10 minutes. Sometimes to simply get a referral, most times to get a prescription for ongoing medication. Why should I pay more for a simple consultation that I am obliged to have? Just because you have a lot to talk about, don't assume it's the same for everyone else. Each person's health needs are different.
    Precious 1
    14th Jan 2015
    12:52pm
    Many patients don`t have anything serious anyway I would hazard a guess I did hear once upon a time that some later aged go for an afternoon out and always donate Christmas cakes puddings etc to said drs...who subsequently donate to local hospitals.......many go for prescription top ups......for jabs for overseas travel to helping other nations Ebola etc....majority scripts.it used to be a Monday morning Drs note to have permanent long weekends til all that stopped years ago.......Most of the people I meet never talk aout illness, sickness etc as if they do they will always end up in full care facilities.......
    Precious 1
    14th Jan 2015
    1:01pm
    That's happening most of the time isn't it....some who don`t fully understand its like taking advantage.........
    dougie
    14th Jan 2015
    1:34pm
    Went to my cardiologist this week, took my blood pressure, referred me back to my original cardiologist and said $100-00 thanks. My response that my time too was valuable and he had kept me waiting 50 minutes so that I required a refund of
    $60-00 for my "waiting time". Guess the reaction. My decision poor doctor - poor patient skills - will see other specialist at hospital - cost - zero. Who wins?
    Oldie84
    14th Jan 2015
    3:04pm
    There was a time long ago when you needed a routine renewal of a prescription you rang the clinic and paid $5 when you picked it up. Wonder why this was changed to a full consultation. You just sit there, wait for the print-out and pay full tote odds. Lots of fishy things going on and some dost protest to much I think.
    particolor
    14th Jan 2015
    3:07pm
    You can wait up to 40 Hours OR MORE there Dougie!! You should get a weeks Pay ??
    dougie
    14th Jan 2015
    3:53pm
    Never had a problem with my hospital. They are excellent particolour. We are very fortunate.
    particolor
    14th Jan 2015
    4:15pm
    Dougie ..My old neighbour cut His wrist badly by accident and I raced Him up to the Hospital Emergency Room !! We sat there for 4 Bloody Hours before He was attended to ?? A nurse came out at one stage and took a look and said "Oow Nasty!"..and that was about it !! Ill call an Ambulance next time !! As I have done before for My Patience here in the Home for the Bewildered !! :-( Its been lucky for a few of them that I am High in First Aid from My Railway Days !!..
    Adrianus
    14th Jan 2015
    4:39pm
    good on you parti!! have you got a flashing light on the roof of your little car? In the "good old days" when in pursuit, police would swing a bell out the window while driving with one hand. Some of your patients may remember?
    Last year it took me 7 hours to get 7 stitches in a cut. The paramedics got me there in about 10 minutes, they were fantastic but I had to ask 3 times, because they kept forgetting about me.
    Ruthie
    14th Jan 2015
    6:04pm
    What is it about all you liberal supporters and haters of people who have worked bloody hard and paid their taxes? I am an aged pensioner and only quit work completely last year at the age of 73. No super plan in my working life - Labor brought that in for all you whingers! Show some respect for your elders who made this country. None of you had to struggle through a terrible depression in the 30's or the war years and after.

    Walk a mile in my shoes!
    Blossom
    14th Jan 2015
    6:25pm
    If we are going to pay more for short consults than longer ones, I will make sure that I take my time.
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    6:39pm
    The Senate will kill this off as well. I have to say to this government that "as you sow so shall you reap".
    particolor
    15th Jan 2015
    7:53am
    Frank !! You have to look Important to get served Quickly !! Turn up in Your Red Speedos next time and they will have You out of there before the Next High Tide !!
    Adrianus
    15th Jan 2015
    8:22am
    Ruthie, just to refresh your memory, you were born in 1941 and although you missed the 1930's the early war years could not be referred to as the good old days either. My dear old mum ate bread and dripping up until the day she died at 84 recently and my dad couldn't help himself. At the dinner table one night when I asked if anyone had seen fluffy my pet rabbit? I still have this vision of my parents as they bowed their heads and looked at their plates. As a toddler I was emotionally intelligent for my age. Ruthie nobody is begrudging you the aged pension. My early years made me industrious. I collected scrap metal and bottles for the refunds. I caught pigeons in the park and sold them to the chinese restaurants. By the age of 10 I had my own business and hired my first employee. By age 20, I knew there were only 2 ways to make money and I would eventually become old and unable to work. At the age of 60 that happened. I have never expected others to feed and cloth me but if I ever needed help I would be grateful. I would never say "give me some more you bastard."
    Misty
    15th Jan 2015
    9:55am
    Frank why do you and other Coalition supporters keep commenting about "Wanting more" ?, no one here is asking for more, just commenting about the lies, promises broken and sneaky ways this current Coalition Government goes about running our country.
    Adrianus
    15th Jan 2015
    12:56pm
    Misty, that's all I read on this site, more welfare, and abusive language directed at Tony Abbott. Some posters are that vile, they need to be exorcised before their heads spin off. Which makes me think that we need Abbott more than I had previously thought. When Bill Shorten said Labor had run out of messiahs, "no more messiahs." maybe he was having a moment of complete honesty and admitting the difference between the major parties.
    MICK
    15th Jan 2015
    1:03pm
    Frank: Another paid commercial from the Liberal Party??? Eh gad, how much do they pay you?
    Theo1943
    15th Jan 2015
    2:02pm
    Davidb. I can't imagine seeing my Dr for more than 5 mins. I'm great doc, just give me my six monthly script. Ta, see you in six months. I have a hiatus hernia and will be on raboprozal forever, but have to go see my Dr every six months. Why?
    Anonymous
    16th Jan 2015
    1:40pm
    Theo, like you, I am a rare visitor to the doctor. Six visits last year. A previous doctor would just charge $2 for a new script and I could ring up, and it would be ready at the desk and I did not have to see him.



    I would like to see this option available at all doctors' surgeries. Would save the taxpayer and the health system a lot of money as there must surely be many others in the same position as I am.
    Anonymous
    18th Jan 2015
    12:59pm
    I just remembered a friend of mine. She used to take her egg timer in when she visited her doctor. She used to plop it on his desk and would not leave until she had her ten minutes worth. She was a real character but I doubt many others would do that LOL!
    Kato
    14th Jan 2015
    11:58am
    Tony Abbott as health minister.
    He reversed the Coalition’s unpopular erosion of Medicare rebates, with extra incentives for doctors to bulk bill children and pensioners, prompting Mr Abbott to declare himself “Medicare’s greatest friend
    now that is a great swing is it not.
    MITZY
    14th Jan 2015
    2:22pm
    I'm a pensioner and my doctor doesn't bulk bill. I've been cheated!! haven't I?
    Presently I pay $62 to see the doctor, Medicare rebate $37.05 i.e. I pay $24.95 out of pocket.
    From next Monday I pay $62(?) to the doctor. Medicare rebate being $16.95.
    I therefore pay $44.05 out of pocket. I doubt there will be very many doctors bulk billing from next week, however they may sit on the fence until Parliament resumes in February and the Senate does the right thing and votes against this Abbott "instrument" of injustice.
    He's a real great leader isn't he? A real "swinger". Reduced pension rises to cope with higher Medicare costs, reduced pension rises to cope with a very likely extension of the GST on food; and higher costs for health and education generally for the population.
    Where did he get his licence to practice?
    particolor
    14th Jan 2015
    3:10pm
    In The Reject Shop ??
    niemakawa
    14th Jan 2015
    3:57pm
    And Mitzy, you are a real "whinger". Be thankful and a bit more grateful that we have a Government with its finger on the pulse.
    MITZY
    14th Jan 2015
    4:33pm
    niemakawa: If you think what I have written above is a "real whinge" you have no idea what a real whinge is. While I'm on the whinge trail, as you put it, I could be a bit more thankful and grateful if this government put its finger on the pulse in some other direction other than the people who earn the least and pay the most.
    niemakawa
    14th Jan 2015
    5:46pm
    Misty, you are very misguided. Those who earn least pay the least . As well they get a plethora of Government benefits and then have the audacity to expect more and more.
    Blossom
    14th Jan 2015
    6:28pm
    I don't think this site is supposed to become a slinging match
    Paulodapotter
    14th Jan 2015
    7:37pm
    Niemakawa, there is a difference in having your finger on the pulse and adding enough pressure to cut off the blood supply. You have right to your opinion, but you write some very silly uninformed nonsense. Engy , it's okay to sling off at what people write, but it shouldn't become personal except in extreme cases :)
    Misty
    14th Jan 2015
    10:46pm
    Niemakawa you are getting me mixed up with MITZY again.
    particolor
    15th Jan 2015
    7:43am
    I noticed that ?? I looked everywhere for Misty but only found MITZY ?? I think He watched that Movie once too often ?? Or was it a Song also ?? I'm calling it the Misty MITZY Mix Up now !!
    MITZY
    15th Jan 2015
    10:04am
    niemakawa: We've had this discussion on this website many times with many participants, you therefore are playing misty! The ones that earn the least pay the most. The ones that earn the most pay the least (they have the means to do so). I note you have turned this around to the pensioners again, with your comment on their plethora of government benefits. What about the lower income workers who struggle week in week out who have no means to save from their income - it is all spent on paying bills and eating. There will always be have's and have nots but the role of government is to spread the taxes they collect in a multitude of directions. Unfortunately some governments are not doing the Robin Hood act too well.
    MITZY
    15th Jan 2015
    10:06am
    Parti: If I change my MITZY to MITZEEEEE.......my dog wouldn't like her new name!
    Kato
    15th Jan 2015
    10:37pm
    Careful he will end up with the misty blues. And might need to see a doc. But I'm all right mama he don't use bulk billin.
    SGW
    14th Jan 2015
    12:05pm
    How many people will remember all this at the next election, or just listen to the senile Murdoch spiel, "see what happens in Queensland"
    Adrianus
    14th Jan 2015
    12:40pm
    SGW, I agree. Unlike the Victorians, Queenslanders have a more intelligent no nonsense approach to wasteful destructive government. We will watch the QLD result with interest on many levels.
    Patriot
    14th Jan 2015
    2:49pm
    Frank,
    As a Queenslander, I hope you're right about that!
    particolor
    14th Jan 2015
    3:12pm
    ?? Will they have a Newman or a New Woman ?? :-)
    Adrianus
    14th Jan 2015
    4:47pm
    Patriot, that's right. Labor were left with 9 seats. What's the talk on the streets like? I've heard they will lose about 2 more?
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    6:40pm
    SGW: that is the right statement to make: will people remember? One hopes that the answer is yes.
    Kato
    14th Jan 2015
    6:47pm
    You newman isn't ? tarnation .
    Adrianus
    15th Jan 2015
    1:11pm
    SGW, how many people will remember that the Bligh government sold off more State owned assets than the Newman government has?
    Koro
    14th Jan 2015
    12:06pm
    Disgusting - does the Abbott government want to see Australians' health deteriorate to worse than third world countries?
    Can our politicians understand that those on basic wages or less are all ready struggling with the cost of housing and day to day utilities. What more stress can they add to our families?
    Let them walk a mile in the shoes of those less fortunate - especially the genuine Aussies that have worked hard all their lives to support and care for their families without abusing welfare as so many appear to be and getting away with it.
    Shame on you and will you be happy when there are more living in poverty so you are so much "above" them?
    Precious 1
    14th Jan 2015
    12:59pm
    That would never happen...I think someone whispered in his ear......wait and see what does eventually happen.....people who are overly stressed out are over committed....usually for the sake of keeping up with joneses...and I truly believe the media and advertising are to blame...the way one of my grandies talks about houses and possessions ..they seem to be of the opinion its all a right to own everything and if now why not and parents can pay for it all or even move out and they want that house......sme readily re mortaging their properties for the sake of keeping em all ouot from returing home...three of mine siblings actually bought houses from those people who were sick and tired of kids moving back and finally with their own babies too.......
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    6:42pm
    Koro: you might like to take a visit to America. You will be shocked as you realise that our Medicare DOES care about those who cannot pay. But everything is not free and nor should some things be.
    Anonymous
    16th Jan 2015
    2:57pm
    A bit of a stretch of the imagination to say Australians health would deteriorate to worse than third world countries. I have been to a number of third world countries and I can assure anyone that we have one of the best health systems in the world and I know where I would rather get sick.
    Nan Norma
    14th Jan 2015
    12:15pm
    I feel that medicare is going the same way as the tax for pensions many years ago. We have been paying a special tax for medicare so that we could all see a GP. Soon everybody will pay to see a GP but continue to pay the medicare tax..
    Adrianus
    14th Jan 2015
    12:33pm
    Nan, we get fleeced over and over again with governments increasing our taxes because they have wasted what we gave them.
    particolor
    14th Jan 2015
    3:18pm
    Cigars and Level Playing Fields don't come cheap Ill have You know Frank !!
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    6:43pm
    As much as I hate to agree with a government troll Frank is right. Did I really say that.
    Anonymous
    16th Jan 2015
    1:42pm
    If, as someone, in the media has suggested that the medicare levy be done away with entirely I can see a huge number of people giving private health away altogether and then what will happen? The list of people waiting for operations will be impossible and the system will be unable to cope.
    Misty
    16th Jan 2015
    4:00pm
    Radish what does the F mean?, female perhaps?.
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    5:39pm
    Without Medicare, Radish,
    the pain of hardships affecting the most vulnerable people
    would be pretty hard.

    We have come to accept our great health system
    Don't give it a 2nd thought,
    But without it, a very different story.
    Adrianus
    14th Jan 2015
    12:30pm
    You have to feel for these Doctor's. They really are struggling to make their first $2m. Welcome to the harsh reality of Budget management. Something the previous government refused to even acknowledge.
    MITZY
    14th Jan 2015
    2:40pm
    Like they "struggled" all those years to qualify as doctors, specialists, etc. not all of them were silver spoons, many of them worked their way outside university to supplement themselves.
    I would rather see the doctors profit from their hard endeavours, remembering at the same time they are employing people, paying salaries, paying their practice costs etc. and at the end of their days they have provided for their own retirement and once they retire, they are not still getting hand-outs from the public purse.

    On the other hand we have some of these politicians who have gone to university and gained degrees with bare passes, have not amounted to anything in private enterprise and gone into government to be paid by the public purse for its excellent remuneration, numerous perks and enviable retirement outcomes.

    What did they do to gain a degree to become a politician, where is their piece of paper that entitles them to come up with the so-called policies they are forcing on us, like the current one we are discussing.

    Even a dog goes to training school and comes forth with a better outcome for the discipline it learns.

    It only takes 3-4 minutes time to boil an egg to perfection.
    This "instrument" of deception looks like it took less than that ... it couldn't have taken much longer, seeing it was devised two days before Christmas Day.
    Adrianus
    14th Jan 2015
    4:58pm
    MITZY, I'm pleased to see that you will not have a problem handing a few extra dollars to your Doctor. Doctors are not the only ones who do it tough in the early days. Although they are in a unique position to invoice the government and have their bank account topped up regularly.
    Blossom
    14th Jan 2015
    6:32pm
    Many Doctors take out huge loans to buy their equipment to set up their medical practice before they even start to get an income. I know a Dr. who retired and to get rid of his equipment it went to auction. He got peanuts compared to the loan he still had and what he paid for the equipment.
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    6:46pm
    Doctors are not labourers and it is quite unfair to suggest that they should be paid a low wage. I have a doctor living behind me and I say that my neighbour is not rich. I doubt whether many others are either.
    If you want to see rich doctors then go to the US. Doctors rich, patients dead in the gutter if they have no money.
    Paulodapotter
    15th Jan 2015
    1:02am
    I know many hard working labourers who have done it tough, but I'd rather go to a doctor for medical treatment who through intelligence and equally hard working conditions has attained a level of professionalism that just might save my life. This comes at a price, a price that I have no problem in seeing as justifiable. Leave the docs alone, Frank. You invoice the government every time you wake up up in the morning, or don't you flush the toilet.
    MITZY
    15th Jan 2015
    10:20am
    Frank: How would you know if I have a problem or not handing over what I would not call a "few" extra dollars to the doctor. Its the government reducing the rebate to the doctor and the doctor recovering it from the patient. It's not the doctor's fault.
    Currently its $62 a visit for me, no bulk billing: Medicare rebate $37.05
    Cost to me $24.95.
    Next week: $62 a visit or more(?) Medicare rebate $16.95 - Cost to me $45.05
    I don't consider that to be a few dollars.
    However, this government (and Abbott in particular) is so obsessed with getting its own way, and whingeing about the other government to which it applied the same bullying tactics, that even though the Senate now has the numbers to squash this insane instrument, it still wants to inconvenience the doctors and their staff and their patients for the satisfaction of saying it will take effect from next Monday until it is rescinded in February. What a dummy spit.
    MICK
    15th Jan 2015
    1:06pm
    Paulodapotter: Frank invoices the government every week. He and his aliases (Solomon, miss aisle, etc.) are paid to comment. Perverse but permitted.
    Not a Bludger
    14th Jan 2015
    12:33pm
    As a recent retiree who worked well beyond 65yo., I really do not like the "lurch to the left" and "political bias" more recently evident in this publication.
    You should be representing all retirees not just those who have their hands out all of the time.
    Precious 1
    14th Jan 2015
    1:09pm
    Ive a friend worked till almost 80 and many many who work even now...
    Alula
    14th Jan 2015
    4:52pm
    Not a Bludger: I object to being labelled as having my "hand out all the time" in your simplistic either/or viewpoint. We're all different with diverse capabilities and abilities. I'm simply no longer capable of doing the work I used to (poorly paid as it was). Admirable that some can into their 80s or beyond but you won't see too many nurses, eg, busting their backs into old age because those backs are too often compromised well beforehand.
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    6:43pm
    Alula, Did you see Not a Bludger label you as having your hand out all the time, or write your name anywhere where ?
    fedup
    14th Jan 2015
    12:34pm
    Mr Abbott turned out to be no different then our previous minister broken promises all over again, why should these clowns worry after all they don't have to live on our aged pensions or pay a fee to see a doctor or have their kids pay thousands of dollars to get an education No Morals Mr Abbott you should be ashamed to call yourself an Australian
    Misty
    14th Jan 2015
    5:27pm
    Is he an Australian fedup?, I heard there was some query about that as he may still be British citizen or at least have a dual passport, does anyone here know?.
    geomac
    14th Jan 2015
    7:39pm
    Nobody knows Misty. Credlin closed off the FOI. It has to be documented yet we cannot see it. A federal MP cannot be a dual citizen ie cannot have allegance to two states which is common sense.
    muzza
    14th Jan 2015
    12:42pm
    Oh My God -- What choice do we have - Shorten who deceived and doublecrossed all his own party Members - and next will be all us poories -- don't be fooled --who can we trust
    MITZY
    14th Jan 2015
    2:49pm
    Wasn't it two party members - Rudd/Gillard? Hasn't Abbott already sent the majority of pensioners and low income earners to the poor house. You say don't be fooled, who can we trust? Well, you and me and the rest of us have a clear choice at the ballot box and I can tell you now I can't wait to vote for an Independent in the Lower House and whatever government looks like getting the majority vote, I will vote the opposite to it in the Senate.
    Patriot
    14th Jan 2015
    2:57pm
    Mitzy,
    Unless the Independent has enough votes "To get in", it is the preferrential voting system that "catches us out every time".
    I agree that we MUST vote for independents as both main parties are EVIL!
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    6:53pm
    Independents. But make sure that their preference does not go to this government.
    If enough people feel the same and people talk then it is possible. It would fix the morally destitute majors.
    particolor
    15th Jan 2015
    8:03am
    Ive always said that Mick ! That Independents should have it written in Blood on their voting Brochures where their Preferential choice WILL GO ! And if they change it after voting is over, they are Charged with Treason, and sent to the Gallows !!
    Adrianus
    17th Jan 2015
    8:59am
    Unfortunately an Independent will sell you out faster than the others. That's the difference.
    muzza
    14th Jan 2015
    12:42pm
    Oh My God -- What choice do we have - Shorten who deceived and doublecrossed all his own party Members - and next will be all us poories -- don't be fooled --who can we trust
    Precious 1
    14th Jan 2015
    12:43pm
    It won.t particularly bother or affect pensioners will it...I already have a Dr who bulk bills.......and he explicitly told me there would be no changes in their practice.......so let the replies rip roar to me over this one lolol
    Pamiea
    14th Jan 2015
    12:45pm
    I THINK ITS A DISGRACE!! GET RID OF ABBOTT AND THE LIBS!!
    Ruthie
    14th Jan 2015
    6:09pm
    I am with you totally,Pamiea!
    Precious 1
    14th Jan 2015
    12:47pm
    Imagine little Billy Shorten as Health Minister....?????
    Adrianus
    14th Jan 2015
    1:14pm
    He is a former HSU boss before Craig Thompson and Michael Williamson, so he does have some insight. I think if he were Health Minister there is a very good chance that he would take the title off Dutton, even if he did borrow more money to throw at the Doctors.
    Patriot
    14th Jan 2015
    2:59pm
    Precious,
    I agree!
    However, he MUST be better than Tony & Co.
    dougie
    14th Jan 2015
    4:30pm
    The Labor Party is so broken that you could not mend it duct tape
    Ruthie
    14th Jan 2015
    6:14pm
    What planet do you live on Precious1? Sling the mud at Labor seems to be your mantra. History will define Julia Gillard as a wonderful PM who was hounded out of office by Abbott and the underhand tactics of Kevin Rudd. Don't forget that Labor has introduced all the major reforms and the Libs have systematically set out to destroy them and now they are intent on having an American style health system when care is based upon your ability to pay and a university system wheere only the students whose parents are cashed up will be able to afford exorbitant fees if Christopher Poodles Pyne gets his way.
    Adrianus
    14th Jan 2015
    6:29pm
    Ruthie, you can deny it all you like but the fact is Bill Shorten and his union mates got rid of Julia Gillard. Don't you recall? They hated Rudd, but they thought he was better than Gillard. Your memory is short. Little wonder they keep getting back in over the years.
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    6:56pm
    Precious1: Unfortunately you like all of us are faced with the choice between 2 evils.
    I refuse to vote for either and continue to encourage people to vote for the best Independent they have. This is the only way to fix politics as the two major parties are beyond fixing until they are (both) voted out.
    Misty
    15th Jan 2015
    10:06am
    Dougie the Labor Party now is a different one to the Rudd/Gillard Government and will hopefully have learned something from that debacle and not repeat their mistakes, unlike the current Coalition Government who seem hell bent on copying Labor's worst performances.
    Adrianus
    15th Jan 2015
    10:16am
    Misty, can you explain how they have changed? They are still the same people. The same Labor union hacks, aren't they?
    MICK
    15th Jan 2015
    1:10pm
    And just compare the Howard government with this one. At least Howard stuck to his word and had some credibility. Abbott and his photocopy front bench are for the most part lying low life who deceive the public and who were elected on promises which were never going to be kept. I call that breach of contract and the media should have hounded them out of office after the first month. But then who owns the media? That is the question we should be debating.
    dougie
    15th Jan 2015
    4:31pm
    Misty and Mick,
    Unfortunately I as a Labor supporter for many years can see no change in their mentality. There is no longer the mantra of "one for all - all for one" it is now whats in it for me. Coming from a mining area it amazes me the number of miners etc who feel that Labor has cost them their jobs and their incomes. Why is this so ? Because it is fact.
    dougie
    15th Jan 2015
    4:31pm
    Misty and Mick,
    Unfortunately I as a Labor supporter for many years can see no change in their mentality. There is no longer the mantra of "one for all - all for one" it is now whats in it for me. Coming from a mining area it amazes me the number of miners etc who feel that Labor has cost them their jobs and their incomes. Why is this so ? Because it is fact.
    Adrianus
    15th Jan 2015
    7:40pm
    I think you're spot on there dougie. I also know that quite a few in the ADF think labor's massive cuts, that's right labor's massive cuts to defence have weakened our military capabilities.
    Misty
    15th Jan 2015
    9:13pm
    Frank you haven't been keeping up with Labor Party news have you because if you had you would know that quite a few of the Labor politicians have retired or will do so before the next election, so how can you say it is the same Labor Party?, I would like to know the answer to that please. There is no way you can say the current Liberal Party is the same as the one John Howard presided over either would you?. They are both different parties now, different members, different views, different policies too hopefully for different times.
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    6:38pm
    Unfortunately, the same mentality, Misty.
    Adrianus
    16th Jan 2015
    10:28pm
    Misty, will they be having another name change? The best thing the Labor Party can do is cut their ties with the Unions.
    Wasaherebelieveitornot
    14th Jan 2015
    1:05pm
    Can we have some positive ideas from anyone, we have a huge debt getting bigger by the day, everyone an expert, but I have never ever read a creative idea in Life Choices Ever and we are supposed to be the grown up adults, makes one wonder
    BBQ
    14th Jan 2015
    2:46pm
    Haven't you read the story on debt - it has doubled since Abbott got into power - he just spends it on wars and aeroplanes and submarines, etc so we can prop up American foreign policy and economy. We should be like NZ and not get involved and save the money for our own people and our own economy. The question is If government continues to sell off assets, which belong to the people of this country not them, for how much longer are they going to be able to fund their 'boys toys' programs without taxing the people of this country to the 50% level and beyond ?
    particolor
    14th Jan 2015
    3:33pm
    OK We could go like Switzerland ! Neutral !! And Make Milk Chocolates !! Hang on We sold all the Dairy Farms to China ?? Back to the Drawing Board !! :-(
    Ruthie
    14th Jan 2015
    6:21pm
    Don't forget, Labor stopped us from going into recession. When Hockey became Treasurer, he immediately borrowed more than half a trillion dollars and doubled the deficit. My sentiments are with BBQ. Peter Costello ran a surplus due to selling of Telstra, the mining boom and the fact he sold more than half of Australia's gold reserves. Then little Johnny Howard pissed the surplus up against the wall, in desperation, as he battled to be re-elected and gave $70 billion in tax cuts!!
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    7:00pm
    Good post. Perhaps start with politicians cutting their wasteful propaganda campaigns and also cutting the size of their public service by half. We do not need most of what comes out of Canberra. After that we need to look at re-establishing manufacturing and putting up trade barriers to countries which have like working against us.
    Misty
    15th Jan 2015
    10:14am
    Wasaherebelieveitornot unfortunately we are not paid to have creative ideas on how to go about fixing the debt etc, that is what we elect our politicians to do, and even if we did come up with something constructive no one would listen to us would they.
    dougie
    16th Jan 2015
    4:38pm
    How can we improve the system when the Labor - Independent Senate who do not have a brain between the lot of them keep denying the Government the right to govern.

    Sack the lot and start again is my mantra. If the populace is then stupid enough to back the Independents and the Labor senate then maybe we should all move to New Zealand. They at least seem to have some logical ideas of government. How can idiots like Lambie and the Palmer punks know anything about government and economics as there is not a brain cell among them. If there was one it would be lonely.
    Polly Esther
    14th Jan 2015
    1:14pm
    No, I don't believe I will be affected.
    Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but I read this as only affecting people having a less than 10 minute consultation, and who pay the recommended fee, and then claim the rebate from Medicare.
    However,I must say It's all a bit confusing really, and Abbott is not helping the situation one bit, with him performing another of his 'circus routines', but I would prefer to wait until the cake is baked and tasted before I criticise the cook.
    particolor
    14th Jan 2015
    3:36pm
    Will that Cake be Iced or Plain Mr Houston ??
    Jacks
    14th Jan 2015
    1:17pm
    The Australian Centre for Economic Research on Health has already warned governments back in 2008 that the current system of subsidies for duplicate private health insurance does not meat it's main policy goals to decrease pressure on the public system and increase fairness and affordability for everyone.

    Problems are:
    Over insurance
    high transaction costs
    Cost shifting
    Adverse selection etc

    They concluded that affordable access to healthcare guaranteed by the tax funded public health insurance (medicare). Subsidising Private health insurance is unnecessary and disproportionate and because it creates instability and inefficiencies in the market.

    In other words private health insurances subsidies are unsustainable causing cost blow outs and inefficiencies.
    Jacks
    14th Jan 2015
    1:22pm
    ^^^^^^^

    This is what is killing medicare.
    KSS
    14th Jan 2015
    1:31pm
    "In other words private health insurances subsidies are unsustainable causing cost blow outs and inefficiencies."

    Given that for the most part private health insurance does not cover GP visits (I know there is trail in QLD by one insurer), how is it 'killing medicare''?
    Kato
    14th Jan 2015
    1:41pm
    Spot on Jacks. Give people the choice pay for private health or pay for Medicare.
    Jacks
    14th Jan 2015
    2:08pm
    KSS,

    because if you want medicare savings which is what the government keeps talking about then they should stop paying around $9 billion dollars to private hospitals and claw back savings from there.

    in an era of rising waiting lists for public treatment and calls for government cutbacks, these subsidies are not a good use.

    So, how much does Medicare spend subsidising private patients to visit private hospitals? Medicare spent A$18.6bn in 2012/13 of taxpayers’ money.
    Jacks
    14th Jan 2015
    2:15pm
    should have read these subsidies are not a good use of tax payer dollars
    BBQ
    14th Jan 2015
    2:51pm
    I agree wholeheartedly! However, I would not drop my private health insurance for the world, even though a simple arthroscope can cost me $2500 in gap payments,etc because I know that if I don't have it I will be waiting in pain and deterioration for 12 months or more to get a torn ligament repair done publicly. So we get ripped off twice - paying medicare levy, paying private health insurance of $171 or more a fortnight and then gap payments.
    KSS
    14th Jan 2015
    3:18pm
    Jacks if you get rid of private hospitals people will go to public hospitals and everyone will wait longer for less treatment adding to your rising waiting lists.

    It seems you have a chip on your shoulder about health insurance and private facilities. If, as you say medicare spent $18.6 on patients in private healthcare, the same amount would still be spent transferring them to public hospitals. I don't think you understand how health insurance works. It pays for the difference between the medicare scheduled fee (your $18.6b) and the fees actually charged by all involved in your care - except the GP. There may still be a gap payment the insured has to pay on top. This does not happen in public hospitals.

    So I do not understand your argument against those paying for health insurance over and above the medicare levies they pay from salary. As BBQ says, those in private health insurance and private healthcare pay up to three times for their care. And you want to put all those people back into the public system!
    niemakawa
    14th Jan 2015
    3:40pm
    Everyone that has access to medicare should pay a levy. This includes ALL welfare beneficiaries. Even if they were to pay 1% of their benefit, that is a small amount and not too much to ask. Those that want Private Health for hospital and ancillary services can do so.
    Jacks
    14th Jan 2015
    5:30pm
    KSS,

    I didn't say get rid of private hospitals. I do not have a chip on my shoulder about anything. I just want policy to be evidence based. I don't care if it's liberal or Labor or Greens. It's whether the evidence supports what they government is saying. In terms of this policy, there is no evidence to support their argument that we cannot afford medicare. We can
    Alexia_x
    14th Jan 2015
    1:30pm
    We have the most inefficient and ignorant government ever, why do we allow them to be still in power after all their mistakes? In any working environment people like them would have been dismissed from the job long ago and yet we are paying them big salaries and also paying for their big booboos, so lets not complain about all this all the time and do something more constructive like getting rid of these people.
    I am sick and tired of reading all the complaints and yet nobody seems to do anything else like trying to dismiss the bastards by whatever legal means are possible.
    Adrianus
    14th Jan 2015
    1:35pm
    Alexia, what big booboos??? They have been doing a great job and the complaints are mostly coming from posters on this site.
    BBQ
    14th Jan 2015
    2:53pm
    Good on you Alexia - Frank can't read, doesn't read or can't analyse policy or has his head in the sand!!! It is people like him who land us with governments like the current one - Abbott and Hockey - 2 economic refugees who were educated for free for this country and continue to feed at the public trough!!!!!!!!!!!!
    miss aisle
    14th Jan 2015
    3:18pm
    You sound like you're talking about the previous govt., Alexia !
    And a few more unsavoury bits could be added onto that.
    niemakawa
    14th Jan 2015
    3:50pm
    Go Frank and miss aisle.
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    7:04pm
    Alexia-x: Understand that Frank and miss aisle are the SAME POSTER and are almost certainly being paid to post by this government. I have previously caught Frank out and have an admission from a poster who calls himself Solomon....also the same person from what I can see.
    You can always recognise the sort of posts Frank makes. Not too hard.
    Just ignore it!
    Adrianus
    15th Jan 2015
    1:19pm
    BBQ, fair shake of the sauce bottle mate!

    mick, you haven't quite worked it out have you?
    Not everyone on this site is as gullible as you obviously think.
    MICK
    15th Jan 2015
    4:46pm
    Most have seen through you and your aliases Frank. Some maybe not.
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    6:34pm
    mick - you say we are same poster,
    but ARE (plural) ALMOST certainly being paid to post !

    What a lot of rot !
    First we're one & the same, then WE are getting paid.
    C'm on mick -
    Even in your lies, try & get your facts straight, please.
    Sweetiepie
    14th Jan 2015
    1:32pm
    Please, please, let's have an early election. Hopefully, the opposition parties will have damned good policies in place to get voted in!!!
    miss aisle
    14th Jan 2015
    3:21pm
    Oh sweetiepie,
    with labor in power your sweet pie will go tarty!
    MICK
    15th Jan 2015
    1:13pm
    And with Liberal in power you get what is now playing out: betrayal on a large scale!
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    6:29pm
    Are you a Labor troll mick ?
    tams
    14th Jan 2015
    1:33pm
    I have read all the comments below and ask two simple question
    1) How many of the commentators below will actually pay more
    2) If doctors provide a service which takes a shorter period of time, should they not be therefore remunerated according to the time of service provided
    geomac
    14th Jan 2015
    2:17pm
    Tams
    The first question will not be known until the practice they go to has to operate under this cost cutting. Will the ones who are bulk billed be put on the wait list to accommodate the higher paying patients ? Cause and effect ?
    The rebate is being frozen till 2018. Can you imagine pollies not getting regular rises in pay and they don,t even have to turn up to vote or just sit in parliament. It is a cut in Medicare rebate, plain and simple. Not a time versus money situation. The present rate is to be cut by nearly half. It is an attack on Medicare as a whole and is entirely ideologically driven. No caps or cuts on specialists or surgeons I have heard of. The GP is the front line in health care.
    Remember the promise ? No cuts to Medicare or health in general. Well along with the record breaking amount of broken promises this rates as one of the most deplorable. This from a man who never even stops to consider before rorting the public purse instead of using his own pocket. Notice the govt is going to support colleges that have training for quacks ( alternative medicine ) as well as beauty care etc. That 60 grand course his daughter got for nothing was a good investment wasn,t it ?
    BElle
    14th Jan 2015
    1:38pm
    I did not believe my ears when I first heard of the implementation of this rebate reduction. It is so stupid you cannot believe that anyone would conceive this as a good idea. Where are the protesters? who is going to stand up to the appalling man and tell him to GO. We the voting public have had enough of this government abuse.
    Young Simmo
    14th Jan 2015
    1:43pm
    At this stage I am not sure just how badly this is going to hurt us.
    My wife and I are both on Pain Killers requiring a Doctor to prescribe every month. Not in 5 months lots prescribed by a nurse. So we are up for 13 visits each per year before anything else pops up. Things like Flu Needles and Blood test results will have to be on one of those visits, so what is a 10 minute plus visit going to cost?
    Maybe a stop watch and a long list of questions will be needed to get over the 10 minute mark.

    14th Jan 2015
    1:55pm
    With such a wealth of talent here already stating the case - I can only bow humbly to the will and the feelings of the people as here expressed. Certainly, for once, I can add nothing to the discussion - it's all said..... well done

    **passes around the jelly bean jaqr....
    particolor
    15th Jan 2015
    8:25am
    Frank wants all the Blue ones !!
    Kato
    14th Jan 2015
    1:57pm
    I don't think Shorten and crew will be any different they will just use Abbott and crew as the excuse. No one disagrees with budget reform but I think they have started in the wrong area here. Howard would have been to clever to fall for this. As he said in an Interview in politics strategy plays a big part.
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    7:06pm
    Both sides are bad for different reasons Kato. We have a consensus here.
    dougie
    15th Jan 2015
    4:38pm
    Bill Shorten used the tragedy of the mine disaster in Tasmania as a well orchestrated incident to launch his parliamentary career based on his so called assistance to the families involved in the cave in. He then moved into his parliamentary career and ditched his wife and family who had supported him to this point. He then became the partner of the daughter of the GG as an added string to his bow. I know who I would trust. The one who honours his wife and family beyond all else.
    Misty
    17th Jan 2015
    1:14am
    Dougie do you know Bill Shorten personally?, has he confided all the intimate details of his private life to you?, if not you have no right to make the comments you have above about Bill Shorten's ex wife and family. Trust the one who honours his wife and family above all else, you have got to be joking dougie, this man breaks promises left right and centre and is losing the trust of the voters in droves.
    Adrianus
    17th Jan 2015
    8:47am
    Misty, I agree with you about Shorten being on the nose. Unlike you to admit it?
    I think a huge problem he has is one of credibility. He is so insincere with his heart string tugging speeches. Also his inability to cut himself off from the politics of the HSU is an indication that he has a vested interest in that particular union. There are unanswered questions there don't you think?
    Misty
    17th Jan 2015
    9:05am
    No you got that wrong Frank, you know exactly who I was talking about, that BS artist TA who beats JG hands down when it comes to lies and broken promises. Someone wrote a piece in Friday's DT about the PM that sums him up exactly, titled "When did Abbott get wishy washy", you may like to read it and I must say I was surprised the DT would print anything negative about the PM, not their usual form.
    Misty
    17th Jan 2015
    9:12am
    And lets face it Frank, while I don't agree with your summing up of Bill Shorten there are probably unanswered questions about most politicians if you really want to get picky and delve into their private and working lives. Not too many saints in the world today Frank unfortunately.
    miss aisle
    17th Jan 2015
    10:14am
    Misty, Dougie's comments about Bill Shorten are well known facts.
    And, If he was ever PM, his "words"
    would come straight from the union.
    So, if you would like the unions running the country ??? go for it.
    Misty
    17th Jan 2015
    10:38am
    I could think of worse organisations to run the country miss aisle, get over the unions your phobia is showing.
    miss aisle
    17th Jan 2015
    11:09am
    I sincerely hope it's showing, Misty,
    Totally against unions/communists running our country
    into the ground.
    Misty
    17th Jan 2015
    11:30am
    What, a phobia also about communists miss aisle?, sorry I don't think even a specialist can solve your problem.
    miss aisle
    17th Jan 2015
    3:03pm
    You forgot "unions" misty.
    Because unions & communism can run our country into the ground,
    it is "not a phobia".
    And I don't think a one-time mention of communists -
    & using them as as example,
    warrents the meaning of phobia.
    MITZY
    14th Jan 2015
    1:59pm
    How does the health system improve by paying doctors less and forcing them to charge their patients more? Why isn't Abbott consulting with the doctors on this new "unfair" instrument instead of sneaking it in two days before Christmas with no consultation?

    Hospitals in the U.K. are struggling to cope with demand due to cuts to general practices (GP's). Patients in the U.K. are flocking to hospitals and waiting up to 12 hours for service. Do we want this?

    Nobody should defend this. People who do so have no thought or empathy towards the very sick or patients with multiple illnesses. A patient with multiple illnesses such as diabetes/heart disease/kidney problems etc. on limited income will stop visiting their GP's and could fall so ill that they need emergency department care. Emergency departments can't cope efficiently at the best of times as witnessed recently here with many hospitals reducing the number of beds available.

    There are people living in areas where there are no doctors servicing them with bulk-billing. Not everyone is equal.

    The majority of patients don't visit their doctor based on a "time" factor, they visit their doctor to discuss their health problems regardless of whether it takes a couple of minutes, under ten minutes or more. The next time I visit my doctor, do I take the EGG TIMER with me in order to ensure I sit there talking for the appropriate time limits?

    There are people worse off than me, and I feel for them greatly. With less pension rises to come and general costs of living and paying one's bills, they certainly don't need this huge impost to visit their doctor. In the long run, the health system will have more costs to endure in the hospital system because people can't afford to visit their GP.

    And, don't come down on the GP's/Specialists either, because they study hard and long to qualify and care for us and deserve what they earn. They have costs just like other businesses in running their practices and paying their staff, bills, etc.

    Tell me this, how many years did the politicians study to grace the halls of our Parliaments and receive the obscene salaries/privileged super funds/perks/travel etc. while in office and into the far distant years in retirement as well? Not only did they never study to be a politician but look at the ludicrous decisions they force on us, the people who pay them, and they even get paid to tell us lie after lie. How would they survive in the business world? Thank God we have had a few weeks "breather" from listening to their rhetoric, have you noticed how the only subject in the forefront of political point scoring has been terrorism, a subject that the majority accepts.

    Hopefully, come February the Senate gets enough of its Senators to vote to squash this menacing instrument. Hopefully the voters can latch onto another petition through YLC etc. with a very affirmative protest.
    Come on YLC, another petition please....................
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    7:07pm
    Nothing to do with "improving" the health system. Everything to do with getting more money into the till. And lets face it this government will never go after the rich.
    KSS
    14th Jan 2015
    2:02pm
    Perhaps the proposed $7 co-payment wasn't so bad after all?

    I get tired of people blaming GPs for the cost of healthcare. What people seem to forget is that they are small businesses and have the same overheads as any other business. The fact that their service is to look after sick people does not make their electricity, telephone, staff wages, staff super, stock (e.g. bandages, hand sanitiser etc), internet access, cleaning, heating/cooling etc bills any cheaper. It all has to be paid for. How many receptionists, practice nurses or cleaners are you prepared to do without so the GP can make up the $20 per consultation of less than 6 minutes that they will lose if they do not charge the patient? This is a significant income cut for the GP. The medicare rebate to GPs has been frozen for a number of years resulting in net losses coupled with increasing overhead costs. Sound familiar? You whine about the pension - its the same thing.

    Already the number of bulk billing GPs is decreasing as more and more doctors move to private practice where they can charge a higher fee. Specialists charge anything up to $300 a visit even if that is less than 6 minutes, but there doesn't seem to be the same level of outrage over that. There are very very few specialists who bulk bill for anyone. Why is this acceptable but GPs who study just as long are expected to earn far less? For those who don't understand, being a GP is just as much a specialty as say a cardiology or immunology, so why are the latter able to charge more than the former without dissent? In fact you could say more so given they have to know about a far wider range of conditions and they cannot predict what is coming through the door.

    People here object to someone who has spent over 10 years qualifying and who must continually update their knowledge and skill and pay high registration fees to be able to practice, earning a six figure salary. Yet it seems acceptable to the same people that their middle management family members earning a similar six figure salary and 'struggle' to pay for mortgages and childcare deserve government handouts.

    Healthcare as a whole needs to be re-evaluated and hard choices made. For example is the life of a premature baby born at 25 weeks gestation with several potential disabilities worth more or less than an 80 year old dementia sufferer with a heart condition? Just because we can intervene doesn't mean we should. And maybe that is part of the problem. We expect intervention and medical solutions to every condition and we expect the Government to pay for it - for all 25 million Australians and growing. Well, the Government cannot continue to do so. So which of you will make the decision as to who can be treated for what? Or are you prepared to help pay for the treatment you want for yourself and your family.
    miss aisle
    14th Jan 2015
    2:54pm
    KSS, I agree with all you have written,
    especially your first line -

    "Perhaps the $7 co-payment was not so bad after all?"

    A simple $7 would have been a much better solution -
    for doctors, govt., & us.

    But with such an outcry over the price of 1 or 2 loaves of bread,
    it
    Blossom
    14th Jan 2015
    7:11pm
    Just to set the record straight, Dementia patients often suffer from low blood pressure, kidney problems that often become kidney failure, and chest congestion
    EELS
    14th Jan 2015
    8:40pm
    "Perhaps the $7 co-payment was not so bad after all?"
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    9:45pm
    Give it a break government trolls.
    The issue is that this is a cost saving initiative. Nothing to do with who deserves to earn what.
    The real struggle should be to stop people rorting the health system because it (appears) to be 'free'. What we need is a disincentive based on usage, the types of services accessed and the ailments. This may be harder than it looks but making the rorters pay is what needs to be pursued so that the health system remains viable for the rest of society WHICH REALLY DOES NEED THE SERVICES PEOPLE ACCESS. I have never agreed with people running to the doctor for a sniffle, a get off work certificate or changing a bandage. These may be bread and butter tasks for doctors but that is not what they were trained for.
    MITZY
    17th Jan 2015
    9:58am
    The $7 was not just to see the doctor. It was to cover specialists, blood tests, optical etc. as well as an increase of some sort to prescriptions.
    jamesmn
    14th Jan 2015
    2:03pm
    its totally stupid from a out of control government in our local paper one large doctors surgery in the Latrobe valley are saying they will have to sack their nurses or increase fees by $30.00 across the board as they wont be able to claim for nurses services eg injections changing bandages cleaning out wax from ears etc this shifty government has not said anything about this but all you would expect from abbot and the fat overweight treasurer bring on a double dissolution no wonder the states don't want abbot anywhere them when they have a election queensland will be the same as Victoria.
    Ming
    14th Jan 2015
    3:10pm
    You are a real charmer....have you looked in a mirror recently?
    Blossom
    14th Jan 2015
    6:43pm
    They already can't charge Medicare if the nurses give Flu injections.
    That was the case last year.
    Misty
    14th Jan 2015
    8:42pm
    Your comment does not make any sense Ming and is insulting.
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    6:26pm
    Unable to see the insulting side of Ming's comment ??
    In fact, trying to read jamesmm ramblings - is much more offensive !
    BDW
    14th Jan 2015
    2:10pm
    The cost of health has increased for many reasons .... living longer, expensive scans, replacement surgery .... the list goes on & on. Obviously someone has to pay ...... we have the mechanism in place .... just increase the Medicare levy! Of course we will all moan & bitch about a hike .... but this will be far outweighed by readily available medical & health care when required. C'mon politicians stop wasting your time & our money talking about other mechanisms ... you already have one .... KISS!
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    9:48pm
    I am more into stopping people going to the doctor when a day in bed will suffice.
    lindy
    14th Jan 2015
    2:21pm
    Cant wait till the election!!!
    Adrianus
    14th Jan 2015
    4:23pm
    lindy, are you one of those people who would like to see more elections because they are exciting? you are aware they cost money?
    Blossom
    14th Jan 2015
    6:47pm
    Some simply vote for the party they have always voted for. Trouble is the best person in your electorate may be from the wrong political party. Parliamentarians should be able to have conscious votes without being penalised by their own party. Votes in parliament should be secret ballot.
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    9:53pm
    Don't pay any attention to liberal troll Frank who is frightened of the upcoming election because his job will end if the government loses office.
    Good comment Engy. You have hit the nail on the head but of course many of the faces on both sides of politics are simply stooges who make up the numbers, have no say and have to vote as the Caucus does.
    As I keep saying: vote for the best Independent in you electorate and send a real message as voting for the Woolies and Coles candidates will not change anything other than the faces.
    Adrianus
    15th Jan 2015
    1:37pm
    Engy, I agree, probably 40% left, 40% right are rusted on. There are a number of reasons for this. Interestingly, research done on twins both identical and non identical may have uncovered the reason for the most part. To give us a further clue, the level of testosterone delivered to us in the womb may hold the key to many behavioural characteristics in men and women. Many have noticed more females in Labor but few would understand the reason, or at least draw a correlation with this and labor policy. If you looked at the 40% rusted on to the left it would probably show more females and those who have female tendencies.
    geomac
    14th Jan 2015
    2:25pm
    Looming changes to general practitioner rebate amounts could result in nurse job losses and cuts to services at Latrobe Valley clinics, a Moe doctor has warned.
    See your ad here

    From 19 January, GP clinics will receive about $20 less for consultations which are shorter than 10 minutes, which, according to the Australian Medical Association, is more than a quarter of all consultations.

    Tanjil Place Medical GP Dr Robert Birks has warned this change would see a clinic's capacity to provide chronic care curtail as it would no longer be able to afford to employ practice nurses.

    Dr Birks said clinics received no direct funding for the work of highly-skilled practice nurses, whose duties include wound care, diabetes education and immunisations.

    He said the nurses' work was subsidised by GP rebates, where GPs bill for a full consultation when they might be required for the initial inspection, but the specialised nurse carried out the work.

    "Let's say you come over and you've split your skin. A nurse will do that work and that gets paid for (under the current arrangements)," Dr Birks said.

    "All our nurses' work with patients would no longer attract the rebate."

    Dr Birks said the loss in revenue would force clinics to either pass on the cost to patients for all visits of less than 10 minutes or cut services and staff.

    "We have two nurses on duty at most times... there are 10 nurses we employ in total," Dr Birks said.

    "Our only way to keep our nurses would be to pass costs on to patients, but realistically this would be difficult.
    See your ad here

    "The exact fee hasn't yet been decided, but it may need to be at least $30 per visit to cover lost income, and most patients using the nurses in our clinic are aged care pensioners, often coming for regular visits.

    "These patients simply would not be able to afford this."


    http://www.latrobevalleyexpress.com.au/story/2810405/nurses-in-line-of-fire/?cs=1462
    MITZY
    14th Jan 2015
    3:39pm
    geomac: well put. Example: I go to a doctor (who doesn't bulk bill) once a year for an annual check-up as I do to the dentist and the optician. Luckily for me, at 73 years of age, I have only recently had to attend a doctor more regularly. I scraped my leg from above the ankle to mid-calf on a treated pine log while gardening. It became infected. I had a tetanus injection plus antibiotics which didn't work too well and had further antibiotics. The wound went down to the bone practically and I had 3.1/3 months of visits twice a week for the first two months and once a week for the latter six weeks visiting the nurses at the doctor's before I got a clean bill of health. My leg ballooned out to three times its size in the first few weeks and I had to lie around home with my leg higher than my hip for as many hours as I could. As the wound tried to form scabs the nurses had to pick out and treat and bandage the leg because if the wound didn't heal from the "inside" I could have ended up with ulcers. I paid for two visits to the doctor for consultations at $62 per visit. Medicare rebate 37.05 cost to me $24.95.
    All the other visits to the nurse were under Medicare because I was a pensioner.
    Next week if I had a consultation at $62 (regardless of time) my Medicare rebate will be $16.95 - the outlay to me being $44.05!! However, the doctor may not leave the present consultation fee at $62. I know lots of people pay more.
    I just hope I don't have too many accidents or get very sick, because with so many other cut-backs and proposed cut-backs and lower pension rises, plus anticipated extensions to the GST on food etc. we will all be heading to the furnace or the graveyard and unable to pay for that too.
    Ming
    14th Jan 2015
    2:37pm
    I pay almost $80 dollars for a standard visit to my doctor. Why don't I get it for free? why should I pay for anything? let the government sustain me! who are the mythical people who will contribute so everybody may get anything they desire for free? Get real people.
    miss aisle
    14th Jan 2015
    3:03pm
    We meet again, Ming.
    I'm glad there are a few of us who are grateful
    for what we have in this country.

    As KSS said in his 1st line -
    "Maybe the $7 co-payment was not so bad after all".
    geomac
    14th Jan 2015
    4:31pm
    No money back from Medicare Ming ?
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    9:55pm
    Hmmm. Sounds a bit like fairyland Ming. Have you heard the old saying 'nothing is for nothing'. We all pay if we earn.
    Bling Bling
    14th Jan 2015
    2:48pm
    for goodness sake all I read here is whinge, whinge Poor me ... I wont I wont not gosh, I'm so lucky there is a pension not like a lot of other countries yes, some folk are doing it hard but they are recieving a weekly payment.... it appears to be a pollie -in- power knocking site !
    miss aisle
    14th Jan 2015
    3:07pm
    Yes Bling, all this talk about "can't wait for the next election.."

    What do these people want Bill Shorten at the reigns ?
    New Labor debt, added to old Labor debt....??
    geomac
    14th Jan 2015
    3:17pm
    Weekly payment ? Social security payments are fortnightly.
    This may come as a surprise Bling but the govt in office gets the stories about its policies on this and other sites. What would you suggest the site have , fiction ?
    miss aisle
    14th Jan 2015
    3:25pm
    Good grief, geomac. If you halve the fortnightly payment,
    you get ....... a weekly payment!
    Bling Bling
    14th Jan 2015
    3:41pm
    yes. half of a fortnightly payment would be ......a weekly payment .. me thinks and thanks miss aisle for pointing it out before me to geomac...
    geomac
    14th Jan 2015
    4:12pm
    You did not say half a payment you said weekly payment. In other wods you do not know or experience what you are attempting to talk about. No comment on a site having articles regarding govt policies ? This is a senior site and one would expect it to have articles affecting seniors and their kin.
    Thanks miss aisle for showing us your basic knowledge of arithmetic. Maybe you could try to improve your comprehension of english grammar and common sense at a later date.
    KSS
    14th Jan 2015
    8:41pm
    That would be English grammar, geomac!

    If you are going to be insulting, at least spell it correctly.
    miss aisle
    14th Jan 2015
    9:42pm
    You pick out a tiny piece of trivia, & make that your focus,
    geomac, try looking at the big picture.....
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    10:00pm
    miss aisle (alias Frank): lets do some more liberal party cheering people. Never changes.
    We all have it better than we know because most of us have never lived in places where citizens are on their own. But that does not mean that politicians should be permitted to routinely waste our tax dollars on maintaining their image and spending on unproductive encounters including bribing voters to gain their future votee.
    geomac
    14th Jan 2015
    11:05pm
    KSS
    I think you mean type it correctly instead of spell. Not too bright for a person who wants to correct a post are you ? Lets be charitable and say you typed without thinking. Typos are everywhere in forums but who cares. I look for the intent and terms used rather than the grammar. Weasel words, slogans and slip ups convey a lot about a poster.
    KSS
    15th Jan 2015
    9:32am
    Pot, kettle, black geomac
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    6:20pm
    It even rhymes, KSS
    Poetry just for geomac.
    Seagull
    14th Jan 2015
    3:03pm
    We either pay our way or live off somebody else's credit card,as we have been doing for the last 9 years .If we are selfish and kick the can down the road, and make the young people pay with extra taxes. The debt has to be repaid ,this debt is someone asset, and if we don't pay this back ,who will lend us money to sustain our lifestyle. Look at the Greek pensioners lining up at soup kitchens.Its time for self reliance and independence and living within our means.
    miss aisle
    14th Jan 2015
    3:09pm
    Good to read a few basic common sense comments.
    geomac
    14th Jan 2015
    3:24pm
    The multinationals do ok living off our minerals and tax loopholes. We have low debt compared to the UK and the USA. Young people are in the gun sights with this govt with higher education fees and HECS while Pyne and the rest had mostly free uni. 6 months without any support at all if unemployed which means a parent or spouse. This govt wants to let the well off to be better off and the less well off to be worse off.
    Bling Bling
    14th Jan 2015
    3:43pm
    well said, Seagull ...
    niemakawa
    14th Jan 2015
    3:48pm
    Geomac, the Multinationals are your bread and butter. Without them or asking them to pay more than the already excessive taxes and add-ons at all Government levels, then you will be singing for your supper. I love multinationals (companies).
    MITZY
    14th Jan 2015
    4:01pm
    Seagull: I worked and paid taxes every year from age 16 to age 55 when I needed to retire early to look after my husband with MS and badly disabled, he was.
    All the time I worked, I never got a tax cut, every time it was a tax rise. The cost of living went up of course with every tax rise. Why wouldn't it. In more recent times governments have given tax cut after tax cut when it was not necessary to do so. I have heard many people say they would rather pay the tax to have better outcomes in health, education, etc.
    If, as you say, we should pay our way, then how about for a start we cut out the Abbott PPL; leave the current one in place. How about we restore the debt ceiling limit. If we are unwilling to make people pay higher income tax (without perks attached to it) then increase the Medicare levy further. We could also legislate for multi-nationals to pay tax fairly and squarely in the countries they operate in - world wide. I note Hockey changed his mind on this one once away from the meeting of world leaders. Do something about the green energy industries that are now dwindling due to Abbott's climate denial government.
    Stop the family trust implementations whereby those than can spread their incomes through their trusts through their children, through their children's education to unrealistic ages. Decent politicians could have a conscience, couldn't they? How about when they retire, they retire without all those perks of their office. How about their superannuation scheme is changed to the same conditions as the rest of us and they pay the same contributions as we do and retire at the same age levels as we do. The young coming through may even get a job if there was not so much dead wood in Parliaments.
    niemakawa
    14th Jan 2015
    4:04pm
    Mitzy anyone can start a family trust. Use some initiative for once and stop expecting the taxpayer to provide everything for you.
    geomac
    14th Jan 2015
    4:40pm
    kawa
    Is that why microsoft or apple etc charge me more for electronic downloads than they do other countries ? My bread and butter. Miners here 80% foreign owned care not one bit how or what I eat or if I eat at all. We can at least be grateful we are Nigerians and have pools of oil alongside the oil pipes. We have gas wells that they tell us are safe for the arterial water basin. They would be telling us the truth , right ? You know like smoking does not cause cancer.
    MITZY
    14th Jan 2015
    5:21pm
    niemakawa: I can see you have a "family trust".
    The taxpayer has never provided "everything" for me. Besides being a long-time worker and not burgeoning the public purse for anything for many years, I used my initiative and looked after my husband my. He had MS for 24 years. The last 10 years of his life were fraught with loads of problems emanating from the MS, I had no home help or assistance for him. I looked after him solely. When he passed away he was in the hospital for 48 hours only. I paid my taxes, I paid my Medicare levy and so did my husband. I/we paid to go to the doctor (never bulk billed). My taxes were proportional to whatever the governments decided to use them for, including the health and welfare systems.
    We worked partly for ourselves and partly in private enterprise and government all our lives, never bludged or asked for any assistance. We both never reached the appropriate retirement age and paid limited compulsory superannuation. We sold our home in Sydney and moved to the country, and I worked part-time as well as looking after my husband. This allowed me to put the proceeds after the purchase of our second home in the country into an allocated pension which was inaccessible until retirement age of 62.1/2 years for me. During this time September 11 occurred and half of the investment was lost. It took three or four years to regain most of it and then there was further stock market crashes and recession and down it went again. We were on a "reduced" carer/disability pension
    for part of this time as we had no other income. Once we were able to access the funds from the allocated pension we were able to access half a married couple pension. There are loads of expenses and equipment required coping with disabilities some of them not available from government sources.
    Once my husband passed away 2.1/2 years ago there was approximately $10,000 in bank savings and a battle to sell disability equipment for a third of its cost.
    So for 2.1/2 years I have been on the single age pension and I manage on it.
    I don't "whinge" as you put it to me, somewhere higher up in the comments, what I try to do is put myself into somebody else's shoes and the majority of my comments are projected towards the plight of others, not myself.

    When you decide to put some other viewpoint across other than the majority of your three line comments, (an offshoot from the three word slogans) denigrating me, even though my comments were not directed to you, I'll consider whatever "initiative" you may like to put forward for me to implement, to stop the taxpayer providing "NOT EVERYTHING" for me.
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    10:06pm
    niemakawa: how do you feel about multinationals who pay a 15% royalty on resources like LNG, iron ore and coal which they export and make huge profits on? And that's after a heap of tax deductions, taxpayer subsidies and infrastructure provided by the taxpayer? Sounds like a bit of a raw deal to me. And how do you feel about companies like Google who shift their profits to places like Ireland where the tax rate is much lower, even though profits were generated in Australian? Investors need a return but how much is ever enough and does the wealth of a nation not belong to the inhabitants of that nation? Horses for courses I'd think.
    Tom Tank
    14th Jan 2015
    3:12pm
    It is rather amazing that most contributions have missed the mark on this.
    The real issue is that this Government, like Howard's, is trying to destroy Medicare. The concept of the community as a whole sharing the burden of health costs runs counter to their political ideology.
    Any statements made by Abbott and cohorts is just window dressing to cover this fact up.
    An obvious solution to the problem is to increase the Medicare levy but they won't do that as destruction is their aim not preservation.
    This Government is taking Australians down a road that most people don't want to go.
    geomac
    14th Jan 2015
    3:27pm
    Spot on Tom. Howard dismantled the first version under Fraser and Abbott wants to kill the present one. Trouble is it works too well and the public likes it that way.
    Puglet
    14th Jan 2015
    6:59pm
    I agree, the govt's aim is to destroy Medicare. Many don't seem to realise that the socially and economically disadvantaged are the main recipients of bulk billing. Those with chronic/terminal diseases, the old and those living in rural regions will be most disadvantaged. A few GPs and patients rort the system - so do politicians, judges, bus drivers and accountants! The majority of Australians don't! GPs are the front line of preventative care and if people stop going to the GP because they can't afford it, hospitals will be overwhelmed by the very ill. Australia is in the top five countries in terms of efficiency and effectiveness of their health care. Australians are renowned for helping those who need extra support and it is sad that so many contributors no longer share this belief. it is a fallacy to think the majority of GPs are millionaires. In any case most work a minimum of 80 hours a week. They will not be able to absorb the cuts to Medicare planned in January and July so most have said they can't bulk bill anymore even though they know that the aged, the infirm and the chronically ill will suffer. Those who deny this are either deliberately ignoring what is happening, they are trolls, or they aren't able to comprehend what is ACTUALLY planned. By the way the 10 minute consult is most useful for those with chronic illness - check weekly blood tests, get new scripts, check to see if the blood pressure has dropped etc. These are the items that keep us from having heart attacks and strokes and so keep costs down!
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    10:10pm
    Spot on Tom. The rich for the most part have little interest in the rest of society. They have their own medical insurance and have no real need of Medicare. They have their own retirement investments and do not use the pension. ALWAYS expect the Liberal Party to pursue the interests of its campaign contributors: the rich and their vested interest businesses. All the rest is as you say, window dressing, lest average people cotton on to the real agenda: to make the rich even richer and to make everybody else contribute and pay.

    14th Jan 2015
    3:24pm
    Oh stop with the misinformaiton and scaremongering please.
    Pensioners, aged care patients and a host of others will not be affected.

    The co payment will stop abuse of the system and provide much needed savings to be utilized for medical research and other government programs
    niemakawa
    14th Jan 2015
    3:35pm
    Exactly.
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    10:12pm
    Perhaps the end will justify the means. Unfortunately HE LIED and voters will punish this government at the next election. To quote your employer Solomon "we want an election".
    niemakawa
    14th Jan 2015
    3:26pm
    I don't think it will effect most concession card holders. So no problem for them
    MITZY
    14th Jan 2015
    4:26pm
    niemakawa: I'm a concession card holder and a pensioner on the full age pension. I have a problem. I don't like the idea of going to the doctor and sitting there with an EGG TIMER attached to the visit.
    I live in a country town. For a 26 km radius there is not one doctor who BULK BILLS.
    My doctor charges me $62 for a visit regardless of what time it takes.
    Sometimes I could be there 2 minutes, sometimes 5,10 or 15 minutes.
    Regardless, it currently costs me:

    $62 per consultation. Medicare Rebate currently $37.05. Cost to me $24.95.
    From 19/1/15: $62 per consultation (if it remains at that).
    Medicare Rebate $16.95. Cost to me $44.05 (double what I was paying).
    If a pensioner or person on low income without private health cover happens to have multiple illnesses such as diabetes/heart disease/kidney failure etc.
    and the doctor they attend does not bulk bill anymore because of the reduced
    rebate to him, the only alternative would be to go to a hospital emergency department, and because he or she ends up there, it is because he or she can't afford to go to the doctor and keep their illnesses in check (thus avoiding going to the hospital) and of course in the long run it would cost the government much more. This is happening at present in the U.K. for exactly the same type of policy as this one.
    This is an EGG-HEAD policy thought up in a great hurry on 23rd December 2014.
    It probably took less time to implement while drunk at the Christmas Party than the 6 minute-doctor-visits it proposes to charge for.
    And, Solomon: this is not a co-payment it is a direct reduction of the rebate to doctors which the doctor will on-charge to the patient. The medical research fund is defunct and was defunct even before it was proposed. It was a sweetener to make the gullible public think oh, that's not so bad I don't mind paying a co-payment if we get better health outcomes. We already have a medical research foundation, it's called the CSIRO!
    niemakawa
    14th Jan 2015
    5:41pm
    Is there a cure for whingeing?
    KSS
    14th Jan 2015
    8:50pm
    For some its terminal niemakawa.
    MITZY
    15th Jan 2015
    10:51am
    niemakawa / KSS

    The so-called "whinge" if you can call it that, certainly hit the spot, there was no answer. At least the response was one short sentence this time. Once again the explanation contained in my post was directed at your first and foremost comment, niemakawa. An explanation that indicated the plight of people with multiple illnesses not necessarily requiring longer consultations.
    How can you think it will not effect most concession holders and there is no problem for them?
    Reeper
    14th Jan 2015
    3:28pm
    Lots of people with lots to say, and as usual narrow minded and political. Not a single person has addressed an alternative to save medicare from a fiscal abyss - what will all you smart people say when medicare folds and health care is fully user pays?
    Bling Bling
    14th Jan 2015
    3:37pm
    well written ...
    Jacks
    14th Jan 2015
    3:50pm
    I think if you read my post you will see where alternative and significant savings can be made.

    The question also remains does the government spend too much on health.

    If you've heard it once, you've probably heard it a thousand times. A $7 GP tax is required to make Medicare 'sustainable', says the Abbott government at every media opportunity. The truth is: (1) free access to GPs is an extremely important but relatively small health cost; (2) federal government spending on health is falling (not rising); and (3) the Australian government spends significantly less on health services and products than the average for countries with modern economies.

    The cost of visits to GPs in 2012-13 (the latest figures) was $8.2 billion within a $147.4 billion health system. This represents only 5.6 per cent of the total health costs, or very little in the context of the industry at large.

    Australian government expenditure on health is well below the OECD average.
    niemakawa
    14th Jan 2015
    3:53pm
    Jacks and our wages/salaries are far higher than the OECD average. Keep this organisation out of it.
    particolor
    14th Jan 2015
    4:01pm
    "Thank You!"
    Jacks
    14th Jan 2015
    5:24pm
    niemakawa,

    which means what? I don't understand your point

    When minimum wages are compared to the typical wage within a country, Australian minimum wages are only slightly above the OECD average.

    However, Australia's unemployment benefits are among the OECD's lowest.

    Numbers from the Treasury on our taxation system.

    Australia’s tax-to-GDP ratio is low by international standards. In 2010 (Australia’s 2010-11 financial year), the latest year for which comparable international data is available, Australia had the fifth lowest tax burden of the OECD countries and has typically ranked in the bottom third of countries since 1965 (when comparable data was first available). Australia’s tax-to-GDP ratio was 25.6 per cent — below the OECD average of 33.8 per cent.
    BDW
    14th Jan 2015
    9:35pm
    I repeat increase the Medicare Levy people!
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    10:16pm
    The traditional way for a badly run company to increase profits is to put up its costs. And then the competition kills it off. If it were only so simple with governments who increase charges but rarely ever fix the real ailment: their spending and bad decisions.
    particolor
    15th Jan 2015
    8:34am
    They are the only Company I've ever seen that gave themselves a Pay Rise BEFORE They did any Work ???
    MICK
    15th Jan 2015
    1:14pm
    Funny.
    Theo1943
    15th Jan 2015
    5:31pm
    How would a copayment of $7, none of which was going to the Health budget or into general revenue, help the budget, Medicare, or the economy.?
    Kato
    16th Jan 2015
    12:44pm
    Reduce the size and cost of Government's. Past and Present. That will more than help out Medicare.
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    4:04pm
    Good point, Reeper.

    If the $7 co-payment could keep medicare afloat,
    then I say, go for it.
    It could work out OK, if everyone, regardless of their position, pays.
    The alternative to not have medicare -
    now, that would be expensive !
    Misty
    16th Jan 2015
    4:22pm
    Unfortunately none of the co-payment is going towards Medicare so I don't know how that will help the health system.
    Adrianus
    16th Jan 2015
    4:28pm
    Theo, it would help in 2 ways. Firstly there would be, for the first time in Australia's history, a plan to fund medical research. The benefits of this could be enormous but in keeping to your point, the positive results would mean less people sick and in need of GP visits.
    The second benefit the government is too polite to mention, but we all know. The part which goes to the GP would act as an incentive to stop them churning patients. The key to sustainability is to separate doctors and patients unless it is necessary for them to get together.
    Misty
    16th Jan 2015
    5:43pm
    You won't get Drs to agree to that Frank and any help from a research fund will be years down the track, if ever, and in the meantime people get sick and die because they can't get to a GP either because they can't afford it or it will take longer to get an appointment as there would be no short visits allowed.
    Misty
    16th Jan 2015
    5:46pm
    If the Libs keep this up it will be the Dr's wives who vote them out next election.
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    6:10pm
    Misty, What's wrong with research helping people
    years down the track?
    Isn't that the reason for research ?

    That's just it, Misty,
    the SICK will be able to get to a GP.
    The price of 1.4 loaves of bread is not going to stop a visit.
    bebby
    14th Jan 2015
    3:56pm
    To. hasbeen
    How about an intelligent response?
    Your right wing values are showing. I am sure miss aisle will agree with you as it seems the
    only comments she agrees with are those worshipping Mr Abbott, the biggest liar of any
    Prime Minister in history. Surprise, surprise I voted for the lady with the red hair.
    niemakawa
    14th Jan 2015
    4:09pm
    You call your comment intelligent?
    Ruthie
    14th Jan 2015
    6:29pm
    Good on you bebby! Julia Gillard did a marvellous job in very trying circumstances, what with misogyny of Abbott and underhand tactics of Kevin Rudd. Go Labor. Rebuild and kick out Abbott!
    KSS
    14th Jan 2015
    9:12pm
    Ms Gillard also did a marvellous job setting up union slush funds too. If people are going to drag up the past professions of one side of parliament, then lets do it for the other.
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    10:19pm
    Am I incorrect in recalling that Gillard was recently cleared of the mud that Solomon/Frank/miss aisle and you have been throwing about KSS? So why start on the same course unless you are another alias of the above poster?
    miss aisle
    15th Jan 2015
    7:39am
    bebby - I share my personal views
    just like you do....
    so what's the big deal ?
    KSS
    15th Jan 2015
    9:37am
    No Mick, she was cleared of illegal activity but found to have been of poor judgement. People here are criticising Ms Bishop for doing her job as the defence Council in asbestos cases. She did nothing wrong either but seems fair game on this site for doing her job.
    MITZY
    15th Jan 2015
    11:03am
    I think Ms. Gillard being cleared of illegal activity is the key factor.
    It should now be filed away as well and truly over after more than 20 odd years.
    As far as the statement indicating she had poor judgement is concerned, I guess being human we can all be judged at making poor decisions some time or another in a lifetime. Politicians of all persuasions make poor judgements on a daily basis.
    MICK
    15th Jan 2015
    1:17pm
    miss aisle is one of the aliases used by same poster who is on the site to build up support for the government before the next election. Paid to do this. The others are Solomon, Frank and a couple of others to whom I give the benefit of the doubt whilst the comments appear to put them in the same basket.
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    6:17pm
    mick - you're going to choke on those lies one day !
    Stop making yourself look crazy.
    bebby
    14th Jan 2015
    4:24pm
    To niemakawa

    Yep
    niemakawa
    14th Jan 2015
    5:48pm
    You need to see a doctor. Make sure you have the right money in your wallet.
    Misty
    14th Jan 2015
    10:23pm
    Niemakawa I think there are a few here who need to see a doctor to get their head read, anyone who thinks this government is doing a good job definitely need to see a doctor and I don't think a 10 minute visit will fix the problem.
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    5:59pm
    Anyone who thought that Labor did a "good job"
    & would vote them in again,
    would not even need a visit to the doctor.
    No Hope !
    Adrianus
    16th Jan 2015
    8:14pm
    HA HA!! and a referral to a specialist.
    Misty
    17th Jan 2015
    12:57am
    I am so glad you agree with me Frank although I don't think even a specialist could help all those I refered to in my comment above.
    miss aisle
    17th Jan 2015
    9:59am
    Misty - don't think Frank agreed with you.
    Just by-pass the referral & straight in to the specialist.
    Adrianus
    17th Jan 2015
    10:06am
    Does anyone know why a referral from a specialist lasts only 6 months, while a GP referral lasts 12 months?
    Misty
    17th Jan 2015
    10:43am
    Really miss aisle?, don't you recognise tongue in cheek when you see it?.
    miss aisle
    17th Jan 2015
    11:14am
    Just checking for signs of intelligence ?
    Mar
    14th Jan 2015
    4:28pm
    Yes, I think it will result in less bulk billing, certainly longer waits and increased costs. Already in my surgery there is a new notice stating repeat prescriptions will not be given out for $5, that appointments must be made and there will be a $25 gap for any extra services eg bandaging, dressings,nurse applications etc. Maybe we will all die sooner and reduce costs!!! Bottom line is, we get the government we vote for. I didn't vote for this one as I anticipated people would rue the day. No point in whingeing,we will have to stick it out until next time round. That's life!!!,
    geomac
    14th Jan 2015
    4:30pm
    The federal government's $20 cut to Medicare rebates for short visits to the doctor appears dead in the water with Labor and several crossbenchers declaring they will overturn it in the Senate.

    Labor leader Bill Shorten declared on Wednesday that the opposition would "disallow" the regulation when it is presented to the Parliament in February.

    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/majority-of-senators-commit-to-scrapping-new-20-gp-fee-20150114-12nxvy.html
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    10:20pm
    Its dead, as is the political life of the PM. Just deserts after the dishonesty and bastardry of the past 4 years.
    Misty
    14th Jan 2015
    4:49pm
    Another nail in the Coalition coffin.
    pate
    14th Jan 2015
    4:55pm
    My appointment is next Thursday and if they want to charge me any $20 iy will be my farewell visit to a surgery. We will see what happens.
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    10:21pm
    Does this mean that you go but really have no need to go?
    Adrianus
    15th Jan 2015
    7:33am
    It's working already. The Abbott government is all about delivering to those who are in need not to those who simply whinge the loudest.
    particolor
    15th Jan 2015
    8:43am
    He's very sparing with that Grease ? I hope the Wheel doesn't Drop Off !!
    EELS
    15th Jan 2015
    12:35pm
    You walked right into that one pate.
    MICK
    15th Jan 2015
    1:22pm
    All that the Abbott government has delivered is lies and deceit. Whilst I acknowledge that it stopped the boats that is it. Everything else was done for the benefit of wealthy Australians who directly or indirectly fund Liberal Party re-election campaigns.
    Frank: Get a real job and stop working for this most woeful of all governments. You can praise as much as you like but nobody is buying. You should be aware of that from the comments by now and no amount of posting under other aliases will convince people otherwise. You are on the Titanic and your boss is going down. Soon. "We want an election".
    Pass the Ductape
    14th Jan 2015
    4:58pm
    Well they were always going to get the dosh one way or another weren't they. More bloody hide than an elephant!
    miss aisle
    15th Jan 2015
    7:35am
    If there was less of an outcry,
    we could have had the $7 co-payment,
    so simple.
    MICK
    15th Jan 2015
    1:23pm
    Yes Tony.
    pate
    14th Jan 2015
    5:09pm
    'Wasaherebelieveitornot' I have an idea for you to think about Stop the libs from travelling all around the world at our expense every night I turn on the Tele to hear that one either Jukia Bishop speaks from overseas or pics of Tony Abbott striding down the steps of airoplane. That may help to tighten the budget.
    particolor
    15th Jan 2015
    8:52am
    That's not Striding ! That's Look at Meing ! I've been overseas to fix something up !!
    I'll have to go again though, I don't think its fixed yet ??
    PlanB
    14th Jan 2015
    5:11pm
    The whole point is Abbott is a sneaky hypocritical mongrel!

    He said no cuts to pension etc but there have been NO direct cuts but quite a few things that will effect it, he is a sneaky beast of a man, are so many of his party. As someone said he and Julie Bishop treated the poor devils with Mesothelioma in a dreadful way, do we expect anything more from this rotten despicable mob?
    Ming
    14th Jan 2015
    5:20pm
    Another charmer!!!!!!
    particolor
    14th Jan 2015
    5:29pm
    I don't think Joes Rolled Out the Big Ticket Items yet ??.. :-(
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    10:24pm
    I'd like to see Julie Bishop marry Christopher Pyne and adopt Tony Abbott as their son. Is that what you call a quorum?
    Disco3
    14th Jan 2015
    5:39pm
    Maybe we should start thinking outside the square. Why do I need to see my GP for a repeat prescription? Could my pharmacist liaise with the GP to renew the prescription? I know, there are times when the GP / doctor needs to re-assess the patient and I accept that. Similarly, a repeat referral to a specialist one sees regularly for check-up could be done by a practice nurse. There must be other situations that could be handled by a person other than a GP. And yes, I do realise patients do need to see the GP sometimes e.g. for diagnosis / management of acute health care needs. I am a retired senior nurse who has to take certain meds (probably) for the rest of my life and I see a Cancer specialist once a year, so I need a referral each year.
    KSS
    14th Jan 2015
    9:04pm
    I realise everyone's situation is different but can you explain, if someone is already under the care of a specialist - e.g. oncologist, cardiologist, immunologist etc, and they have regular check-ups with that specialist (say monthly, quarterly or even annually,) why is a new referral necessary from the GP to see that specialist who is already treating them?

    I can understand if a new specialist is required e.g. a cardiologist AND now an oncologist because there must be a new condition requiring a new specialist. If not then surely the next appointment is made at the end of a consultation and so no referral is necessary.
    MITZY
    15th Jan 2015
    11:15am
    KSS: I don't know why either, but I have had cataract operations on both eyes. I needed a referral to the opthamologist from the optician for the first visit and he then sent me back to my doctor for the tests to be done (i.e. blood pressure, ECG, blood tests etc) before he could operate. Same with the second eye. Then, I had a problem with the first eye operation thirteen months later and when I rang to make an appointment with the eye specialist the first thing I was told was to go to either my doctor or the optician for a referral once again.
    Once you have access to the appropriate source i.e. the eye specialist, and you know in your own mind that he is the person you need to see, surely the first referral should be enduring?
    Ruthie
    14th Jan 2015
    5:42pm
    This action is another example of the sneaky, immoral actions of Abbott and his lying, destructive mob. For Abbott to declare that he is the best friend Medicare ever had is so hypocritical! This is not just another attack on the less well off, but on GP's, who stand to have a 40% pay cut. Many privately owned GP practices will be forced to close. The sick and vulnerable will suffer, while the leaners like Hockey and Co won't give a damn as they pocket their entitlements that none of us receive. If the government is so desperate to cut the deficit, then why not tax the rich millionaires who squirrel money into their superannuation funds and receive from the government a 16% tax concession? Then we have the mega-rich who make sure their super profits are deposited overseas in order to avoid paying tax. The government could get $34 billion from the rich superannuants and billions more from big corporations. TAX them! Under Abbott, the poor have got poorer and the rich richer. This government does not give a damn for the ordinary citizens of Australia. In the December MYEFO statement there was a very short statement that the government will NOT go after those big corporations avoiding to pay their fair share of taxation. Of course, many of these tax avoiders support the LNP with generous donations. GO FIGURE! Conflict of interest Hockey and Cormann!
    gerberry1
    14th Jan 2015
    5:54pm
    WEll, most GP's will charge the 10-20min visit to see them. And I ask, is the Government Ministers going to take the same cut in pay that they expect the GP's to. I doubt it. When we see this, then we will know that they are dinkum.

    But unfortunately we don't want Labor back in power - do we.
    Labor - IOU's
    you all have very, very, very short memories. Even in the dying throws of the last Labor Parliament they were promising things that we could not afford, and even I can do the Maths, but they worded it in such a way that whatever Government came in they had to happen.

    So bl--dywell is there left to run the place? The Greens??? Jacquie??? PUP or what ever it was called.
    Too many lawyers in Parliament on both sides, we need more 'common people' but there again they get caught in the way of the big boys. What hope do we have.
    We need a Churchill.
    geomac
    14th Jan 2015
    6:42pm
    Churchill ? Remember the Gallipoli fiasco berry. Got chucked out after WW11 , horses for courses sort of thing. Abbott made his mark as an opposition leader but is a one trick tony err pony. As a PM he is a dud except for broken promises. World beater in that regard.
    wally
    15th Jan 2015
    10:21am
    In that regard, Tony can't compete with Wayne Swan and his promised budget surplus (lies) that evaporated when Swan was Treasurer, year in and year out.
    For your information, Churchill did lose the 1945 election to Clement Atlee and the Labour Party but was to be elected again in 1951 to be Prime Minister. So maybe you should tell the whole story and not just the bits that suit the story you wantto tell.
    MITZY
    15th Jan 2015
    12:35pm
    gerberry1: The amount of visits the GP undertakes in one day will be monitored and already is monitored. He will not be able to see "X" amount of patients and indicate they are in the over 10 minute consultation category if he has seen "X" amount of patients in the 6 minutes category. That's how the government knows there are more 6 minute versions than over 10 minute versions and that's why they are reducing the rebate. However if all you need is a new prescription for a blood pressure tablet, and the doctor takes your BP
    geomac
    15th Jan 2015
    4:38pm
    Wally
    My point was horses for courses. Churchill for WW11. WW1 was the Gallipoli disaster. Abbott is no leader or statesman. He has proven to be as I said a one trick pony, opposition leader but a dud PM.
    Incognito
    14th Jan 2015
    7:30pm
    More reason to take your health into your own hands, and prevent health problems by keeping a good diet,keeping fit and try not to stress, though this government seems to enjoy stressing out us lower income people.
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    10:38pm
    Good advice. Any suggestions on how to avoid stress?
    miss aisle
    15th Jan 2015
    7:31am
    Yes mick,
    stop continually writing lies about people !
    That should bring your heart rate down instantly !
    particolor
    15th Jan 2015
    8:59am
    Stressed People end up Snapping !
    Adrianus
    15th Jan 2015
    10:06am
    mick unfortunate that you had to retire early when your new neighbours from hell drove you crazy with all night rage parties. Unfortunately stress can creep up and the analogy of the last straw which broke the camel's back can be accurate. Don't get too excited about your political jihad, if in the end it means sacrificing your health.
    wally
    15th Jan 2015
    10:13am
    Calm down, mick.
    It looks like you need a Bex, a cup of tea and a good lie down! Whilst you are out trying to hunt down where you can get a packet of Bex, the exercise will do you good, take your mind of these pesky trolls and do you a world of good.
    MICK
    15th Jan 2015
    1:25pm
    Do I detect multiple posts from our own political troll? I must be getting to you Frank/miss aisle/wally? Maybe get a few extra aliases boys.
    Adrianus
    15th Jan 2015
    1:42pm
    mick, if you are experiencing multiple posts then its time to take it easy.
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    12:37pm
    Take Frank's advice, mick,
    before you end up double vision as well.
    AlbertC
    14th Jan 2015
    7:53pm
    my my my it has taken you just over 12 months for you people to realize that you voted in a lying pommy dork who thinks his brains are in his head well abbot baby next time you take off your undies have a look at the stains and you will really know where they are and where they leak from have a nice day you swing voters.
    KSS
    14th Jan 2015
    9:10pm
    Could you be any more insulting AlbertC. Whether you agree with Mr Abbot or not is wholly your affair and you absolutely have the right to your opinion. However, the things you write are are beneath contempt. Like it or not Mr Abbott is the Prime Minister of this country and as such the position deserves respect. You should be ashamed
    miss aisle
    14th Jan 2015
    9:50pm
    Is your mind always in the gutter albertc ?
    Or does your head reach the sewer as well ?
    Misty
    14th Jan 2015
    10:37pm
    Although I dislike the Abbott government immensely, Tony Abbott in particular for his lies and broken promises, for once I have to agree with miss aisle and KSS, nobody deserves to be spoken about in the way AlbertC has spoken about the PM.
    MITZY
    15th Jan 2015
    11:30am
    KSS: As with Misty, I agree with your comment here. In my opinion this comment should be removed, it's sickly.
    EELS
    15th Jan 2015
    12:40pm
    Ditto all you guys above. AlbertC your insults are disgusting.
    Gee Whiz
    14th Jan 2015
    8:21pm
    Remember the $500 a year saving each family would get when Abbot abolished the mining tax?

    The con of course was to recoup it from the ordinary tax payer by reducing the Medicare rebate, reducing the pension, making people work to age 70-75, and increase the petrol price.

    Abbot the con man. No bigger slime or more corrupt charlatan than this grub.
    Anonymous
    14th Jan 2015
    8:58pm
    What's the matter ? Not able to take a 5 week overseas vacation on your taxpayer funded pension anymore?
    Try 4 weeks instead. Hurts I know, but we all have to make small sacrifices for labor leaving us a financial mess
    KSS
    14th Jan 2015
    9:21pm
    Gee Whiz, do you know things others don't? "Making people work to age 70-75" - my understanding that the PROPOSAL was to raise the retirement age to 70.

    Increase petrol price? Don't look now but the price of petrol in most places is at a 6 year low and nothing to do with this or any Australian government. Rather it is a fight between the USA and Middle East producers for supremacy and consumers are currently benefiting.

    As for the $500 that would have totally depended in that family's spend. As a single person for example it would be unlikely that they would spend as much on electricity as a family of 5 with three adult children at home. The less you spent, the lower that $500 'rebate' would be. At no time was a $500 cheque promised.

    As I have said before on this site. Criticise the government and Mr Abbott if you will. But do it honestly and fairly. There is enough surely to make your point without the necessity of making things up.
    KSS
    14th Jan 2015
    9:21pm
    Gee Whiz, do you know things others don't? "Making people work to age 70-75" - my understanding that the PROPOSAL was to raise the retirement age to 70.

    Increase petrol price? Don't look now but the price of petrol in most places is at a 6 year low and nothing to do with this or any Australian government. Rather it is a fight between the USA and Middle East producers for supremacy and consumers are currently benefiting.

    As for the $500 that would have totally depended in that family's spend. As a single person for example it would be unlikely that they would spend as much on electricity as a family of 5 with three adult children at home. The less you spent, the lower that $500 'rebate' would be. At no time was a $500 cheque promised.

    As I have said before on this site. Criticise the government and Mr Abbott if you will. But do it honestly and fairly. There is enough surely to make your point without the necessity of making things up.
    KSS
    14th Jan 2015
    9:21pm
    Gee Whiz, do you know things others don't? "Making people work to age 70-75" - my understanding that the PROPOSAL was to raise the retirement age to 70.

    Increase petrol price? Don't look now but the price of petrol in most places is at a 6 year low and nothing to do with this or any Australian government. Rather it is a fight between the USA and Middle East producers for supremacy and consumers are currently benefiting.

    As for the $500 that would have totally depended in that family's spend. As a single person for example it would be unlikely that they would spend as much on electricity as a family of 5 with three adult children at home. The less you spent, the lower that $500 'rebate' would be. At no time was a $500 cheque promised.

    As I have said before on this site. Criticise the government and Mr Abbott if you will. But do it honestly and fairly. There is enough surely to make your point without the necessity of making things up.
    Misty
    14th Jan 2015
    10:41pm
    Once was enough to get your point across KSS, no need to do it 3 times or are you having computer problems?.
    MICK
    14th Jan 2015
    10:46pm
    Not too hard to find the government trolls. Just attack the government and its PM.
    I love the above. No mention of "you have high electricity prices because of the Carbon Tax". So why have power prices not fallen by 70%? Funny that. Even continue to go up. A lie is a lie is a lie.
    The point of this post appears to be to tag this government which gives little to the average citizen but takes lots. Welcome to Liberal Party policy.
    And before you trolls say it: no i have no affiliation to Labor and unlike you I will not compliment Labor or backslap. I leave that to paid government trolls who are working this site and trying to groom readers so that they vote Liberal at the next election. Not working Frank....or is that Solomon....or is it miss aisle...or who knows who else.
    miss aisle
    15th Jan 2015
    7:28am
    mick - take notice of Misty's comment.
    It's above you.
    Your computer not only repeats itself
    but it makes up stories !
    Adrianus
    15th Jan 2015
    8:29am
    mick, you know very well that the prices have dropped between 8% and 12% around Australia. NSW prices should drop further this year. Electricity prices would have dropped even further if not for the Greens /Labor attempt to make the power producers unviable. Labor has always struggled with the fact that impost on business is passed onto the consumer in the form of higher prices.
    KSS
    15th Jan 2015
    9:46am
    Sorry for the multiple response. Not sure what happened there. I am not a public servant needing to things in triplicate :-)
    Adrianus
    15th Jan 2015
    11:00am
    KSS, no need to apologise for my benefit as it takes only a nano second to realise the mistake. I do appreciate your posts and humour :) I can think of a number of posters who would read all 3 before having an epiphany.
    MICK
    15th Jan 2015
    1:31pm
    Frank/miss aisle: dear troll....
    1. Sorry to repeat myself. I want to make sure that the rest of the community on this website understand who you are so in case I miss anyone I may repeat.
    2. electricity prices have dropped 8% to 12%? Really? I have been repeatedly reading just the opposite on this site. Most claim they have gone up. And then prices should have dropped by 70% if the Carbon Tax had been the reason why we had high prices. It wasn't and this was one on the many lies the Liberal Party used to win office. WE ALL KNOW Frank. You can run but you can't hide.
    Sailsau
    15th Jan 2015
    12:05am
    Want to make pollies sit up and take notice? Imagine if everyone in Australia did not vote for a sitting member nor vote for anyone else who preferenced the sitting member in every seat in Australia for every election for the next three years for both houses of parliament. Imagine safe seats being a thing of the past!!!!
    solmon52
    15th Jan 2015
    2:15am
    First class travel cheats is very old story. The writers of these stories need to get out and about to find own stories instead of redoing an old tacky one.
    solmon52
    15th Jan 2015
    2:20am
    I sent my comment to my minister so why don't everyone else. All gov state and fed have increased medicare levy. Whacked taxes on booze and cigs all with promises to put it to health.
    Then they get ripped off by the corporate sharks for drugs. I can by my scripts that cost me 37$ here for a quarter of the price in asia and its the same company. Who is fooling who.
    solmon52
    15th Jan 2015
    2:28am
    My specialist for joints has just told Newman to stick the public system due to incompetant idiots running the public system. I have no choice. If I want him I have to pay another 400$ a year to have knee replacement done in private hospital.
    particolor
    15th Jan 2015
    9:11am
    Your suffering from Prayknee ! and there's no cure !!
    Oars
    15th Jan 2015
    5:36am
    The $20.00 is only paid by those who have LESS THAN 10 MINUTES in the Dr's surgery. The others who "flick through" will pay the fee. It is a sound idea and prevents patients rorting the system to "get an aspro" or to get a day off work. Great Idea. The fee does NOT apply to the bulk-billers, so get your FACTS you wingers.
    MITZY
    15th Jan 2015
    12:05pm
    Oars: There will be very few or no bulk billing doctors after next Monday.
    Example: I go to my doctor because my six-months repeat prescriptions for my blood pressure tablets have expired, I need a new script. Oars: this is an example, not me, I don't have that problem.
    I have to say this because when I explain something I am classed as a "whinger" i.e. not a "winger".
    I have an appointment for 10.00 a.m. I sit and wait and it's now 10.30 a.m. before I get called. Hi doctor, I need a repeat of my blood pressure tablets. I get my blood pressure checked and get asked if I am o.k. otherwise and the tablets are not giving me any side effects. I say I'm fine no other problems. He presses the button on the computer and it spits out my script. He says see you in six months unless you have a problem.
    I go to reception, I have been 5 minutes with the doctor. He doesn't bulk bill (even though I am a pensioner on the full single age pension).
    The receptionist says $62 please. From this $62 the Medicare rebate is $37.05, so the visit has cost me $24.95 (I,e. this week under the current legislation).

    The new regime starts next Monday: It costs me $62 this time if the doctor has not already put his fees up to cover the reduced rebate.
    So, $62.00 to doctor. Rebate from Medicare reduced to $16.95. Cost to me $45.05.
    Anyhow with a Senate looking like having the numbers to defeat this instrument of deceit the status quo will prevail.

    So, if it was me going for my 5 minute visit to get a repeat prescription I would not consider it a "rort" as you put it. The consequences of failing to pay out that $45.05 and thinking I could do without that visit, could result in me having a stroke or a heart attack and then how much will it cost Medicare and the hospital to look after me then?
    If there are oh so many rorters in the system, why are our health care costs reducing? Could it be that the visits to the GP whether for 5 minutes or under, or 10 minutes or more, are preventing people from getting ill and/or managing chronic illnesses that if allowed to go unchecked result in more burdens on the health system. Something is working, and we are darned lucky to have it.
    Polly Esther
    15th Jan 2015
    12:34pm
    Yeah. Sounds pretty right. That's the way I read it.
    surfer
    15th Jan 2015
    6:33am
    Voted for Abbott last time but not again. Who do I vote for now. Cannot stand that idiot Shorten, he is a disaster. Will have to go for an independent. What a choice from a bunch of dickheads.
    miss aisle
    15th Jan 2015
    7:23am
    And the Independent you vote for
    will give HIS/HER vote
    to Shorten or Abbott !
    So may as well vote for the lesser of the two evils in the first place.
    Misty
    15th Jan 2015
    9:47am
    See miss aisle, solomon 52, Frank, Oars etc, even the Libs are turning against this Coalition Government
    wally
    15th Jan 2015
    10:05am
    Ask mick. I am sure he can suggest a suitable independent candidate. Or two. Or three. Or four. 0r five. 0r six and so on. Maybe you should go live in Pauline Hanson's electorate and vote for her. If both Liberal and Labor party machines hate he, she can't be all bad!
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    5:51pm
    Not turning against the Coalition Misty,
    but even if we were,
    Labor would not get a look in.
    Misty
    17th Jan 2015
    1:03am
    Maybe not you miss aisle, Frank, Solomon etc and doughie, who I don't believe for a minute was ever a Labor supporter, but a lot of other Coalition supporters are turning against this government. Labor wouldn't get a look in miss aisle, really?, look at what happened in Victoria.
    miss aisle
    17th Jan 2015
    9:33am
    I doubt whether Labor will get into Canberra though -

    As people are well aware -
    A stampede of illegal immigrants
    will be flooding the country !

    And that will have a detrimental effect
    on many areas of our life style.
    Security, financially, just to name 2.
    Gee Whiz
    15th Jan 2015
    7:33am
    Note to KSS.

    The price fall in petrol has nothing to do with the tax Abbot imposed on it. It is due to a global price drop in the price of crude oil. Abbot's tax is still in place despite his promise not to increase the price of petrol.

    It is Joe Hockey's plan to increase the retirement age to 70 then to 75. Read the budget papers.

    It is a fact that Abbot has broken more electron promises than any other Prime Minister in history.

    I have been a Liberal supporter for many years. No more.

    I regard a promise as a pact between me and the person making it. I expect them to honor that commitment. I won'r accept half-baked reasons for not complying with it.

    And while the government bitches and complains about getting the budget under control the skies are full of politicians jet setting around the world first class on taxpayer funded junkets.

    And lets not forget George Brandis contribution to the budget deficit by spending $1100.00 on one meal while on on one these forays.

    When politicians start showing some respect for the people they will get respect in return. Don't hold your breath.
    particolor
    15th Jan 2015
    9:27am
    I'll have the 2 Buck Hot Dog while I chew that over !!
    Misty
    15th Jan 2015
    10:25am
    Gee Whizz what fall in petrol prices?, our town, along with one other has the highest petrol prices in NSW.
    Gee Whiz
    15th Jan 2015
    9:34am
    Where can you get a two buck hot dog? It will soon be four bucks when they add GST to food!
    KSS
    15th Jan 2015
    9:50am
    There is already GST on hotdogs!
    Anonymous
    15th Jan 2015
    4:33pm
    there is NO rise in the GST...scaremongering by politicians
    shanners
    15th Jan 2015
    9:47am
    Hot dogs already have GST applied.
    Jack42
    15th Jan 2015
    10:24am
    Hey all you labour people, who put this country into so much debt, you don't want to take credit for this do you
    Misty
    15th Jan 2015
    10:31am
    Don't fret over the debt Jack 42, we still have one of the lowest debts and economists all say it is ok to have debt so quit worrying about something you have no control over.
    Anonymous
    15th Jan 2015
    4:32pm
    I see where the credit card debt owed is now $40 billion. Someone must have my share as I dont have any.
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    9:47am
    Misty, we do have control over the debt
    by who we vote for.....

    One gets us into massive, unnecessary debt,
    and One has to make unpopular decisions
    JUST to pay the INTEREST of the debt !!

    Radish (F) - Like you, most of my friends and I
    also do not share in that massive credit card debt!
    Misty
    16th Jan 2015
    11:56am
    That is a matter of opinion miss aisle, my opinion differs from yours and never the twain shall meet.
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    2:43pm
    There are many opinions we differ on, Misty.
    To start with, "..quit worrying about something you have no control over."

    Another is, Labor got us into massive debt,
    of which Liberal is now only able to pay the huge amt. of interest,
    resulting in unpopular decisions.
    It's all a matter of priorities, I guess.
    Misty
    16th Jan 2015
    3:54pm
    Or whose lies and spin you listen to miss aisle.
    miss aisle
    17th Jan 2015
    9:17am
    Yes, Misty - Rudd & Gillard were top of the class. A+
    Misty
    17th Jan 2015
    9:31am
    Sorry miss aisle you are behind the times there, Tony Abbott has taken over that mantle now and with 2 more years to go God only knows how many more will come out of his mouth.
    miss aisle
    17th Jan 2015
    9:34am
    It can only get better, misty.
    Gee Whiz
    15th Jan 2015
    10:38am
    Petrol where i live has gone from $1.39.9 to $1.25.09 and is blamed on the falling crude oil price.

    Newspapers and TV news (sic) have been hammering this for weeks now. One service station in Brisbane was reported on the nightly news to be selling petrol for $1.19.9.

    If petrol prices in your area haven't gone down you need to speak to your helpful and "no action taken" government representative.

    I'm sure he will do something about it. Ho,ho,ho. Ha, ha, ha.
    MITZY
    15th Jan 2015
    12:21pm
    Gee Whiz: There is an article in today's SMH online re some regional/country areas are being duded re high petrol prices. I'm in country NSW and from beginning of December 2013 to beginning of December 2014 the unleaded/10 has been $1.58.9 static at the Woolies Caltex and Coles Shell servos with the 4cents a litre reduction being available. However, the Shell/Caltex servos 26 kms south of me portrayed the cost as $1.54.9 without a 4 cents voucher!
    A week into December my two closest servos reduced the $1.58.9 to $1.53.8 and there was such an outcry in the local papers about the cost of fuel being so much cheaper in the cities etc. that all of a sudden the price dropped to $1.36.8 last week and this week it is $1.28.6. Still a lot higher than some of those city outlets were a few days ago fuel was being sold at $0.99 cents.
    When the price of oil started to decre
    Theo1943
    15th Jan 2015
    5:25pm
    Servo in Kalamunda was selling inleafed for $1.06.7 yesterday?.
    Misty
    17th Jan 2015
    10:33am
    Not if his latest efforts are anything to go by miss aisle, Liberal back benchers force Abbott back down, doesn't sound like a united party it.
    Misty
    17th Jan 2015
    10:48am
    This reply was to a comment miss aisle made above regarding lies etc and the last bit should read ," doesn't sound like a united party does it".
    miss aisle
    17th Jan 2015
    11:17am
    Getting a bit confused are we ?
    Misty
    17th Jan 2015
    11:33am
    Not really miss aisle , just heard on the news that Cambell Newman may lose his seat in Queensland and lost my thoughts for a second, shock I guess.
    miss aisle
    17th Jan 2015
    12:41pm
    That definitely would be a blow for the Libs.
    I suppose time will tell....
    Gee Whiz
    15th Jan 2015
    11:18am
    Niemakawa asks "is there a cure for whinging". Yes there is.

    Take a large dose of Capitulation serum, followed by a glass full of Surrender medication.

    Other products are Give up, Give in, Don't fight back, and Keep your mouth shut.

    None of these products are approved by government but are available free of charge to anybody who has an an opinion.
    Kato
    16th Jan 2015
    12:46pm
    And the manual is available for free from the LNP website:)
    How big is this humble pie going to end up.
    MITZY
    17th Jan 2015
    10:12am
    Gee Whiz: ..... gee whiz ..... !!!!
    Theo1943
    15th Jan 2015
    1:46pm
    Breaking news. Fed govt has announced that the reduced rebates scheduled to start Monday will not go ahead.
    Adrianus
    15th Jan 2015
    2:09pm
    The unions just have too much money for negative advertising. We may be asking how did they come by all this money?
    geomac
    15th Jan 2015
    2:32pm
    You talking about the AMA Frank ? The doctors union not only has members but those members have clinics and see patients every day. Thats a lot of voters and the govt bungled this badly by not consulting with doctors and the AMA, the doctors union. No direction other than ideology without thought or reason.
    miss aisle
    16th Jan 2015
    9:41am
    Exactly Frank.
    Adrianus
    17th Jan 2015
    11:22am
    The CFMEU gave the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd government $20m for a negative ad campaign.
    Misty
    17th Jan 2015
    11:36am
    Where did you get your information from Frank and how accurate is it?
    Misty
    17th Jan 2015
    11:42am
    And what if they did Frank?, is that any worse then the banks, mining magnates and big business funding negative ads for the Liberal Coalition negative ad campaign?.
    Adrianus
    17th Jan 2015
    12:50pm
    What you think the Unions don't give money away to politically promote themselves? I heard it from union boss witnesses during the Royal Commission into Union Corruption. I was watching it live. You're right it could be more. You would be surprised what they finance. Check it out for yourself. Don't be crazy, business will fund ads for their own self interest not for political idealism. I suppose it makes you angry that Newman is cutting payroll tax in QLD?
    geomac
    17th Jan 2015
    1:03pm
    Frank
    You seem to have wandered off topic a bit.The 2007 campaign against workchoices has nothing to do with incoherent medicare policies of the present govt. An efficient health system for the nation and abbott is trying to dismantle it. Abolish the private health subsidy and get a 5 billion saving a year. Save another half a billion by scrapping the chaplain religious only policy. Another couple of billion by removing the fuel subsidy for miners. All that without even considering the largesse given to the well off in super concessions and trust funds.
    See Frank thats the trouble with this govt, tunnel vision. It has numerous options but only sees the low hanging fruit that does not affect its support base. The coalition is governing for 10% of Australia , if that, not the nation.
    Adrianus
    17th Jan 2015
    1:12pm
    Thank you geo, I often forget this is an anti Abbott, anti Government blog.
    Misty
    17th Jan 2015
    1:15pm
    Not really Frank geomac is just telling it like it is and the truth hurts doesn't it.
    Adrianus
    17th Jan 2015
    1:54pm
    I remember when I found out there was no Santa. I was devastated. The news came as a shock although I had some unanswered question regarding his ever changing appearance and why he could only be seen in a shopping centre. I think that was the first and only time it hurt.
    I was referring to geo chiding me about "wandering off topic a bit" then reinforcing his opinion of what the topic is.
    Misty, you and geo are just not looking at the big picture. You are both clouded by your love for labor and unions.
    Misty
    17th Jan 2015
    2:30pm
    I think you can say that is a case of the pot calling the kettle black Frank as your views are obviously clouded by your love for TA and the Coalition, regardless of the damage they are doing to our country. I didn't say I love the Labor or unions either so don't attribute views to me that you can't substantiate, I am merely commenting on the facts as I see them published, aired on the news and what I can Google, also from speaking to other people and my own everyday life's experiences.
    geomac
    17th Jan 2015
    2:45pm
    Frank
    Your use of the term love regarding unions or Labor shows you have no reasonable argument to support Abbotts destructive agenda. You have not provided any counter to what posters have said in support of Medicare and its worth to the nation. I do not love the AMA and don,t know if one can love an organisation that one does not belong to or could belong to. The same goes for any political party as I have never been a party member or any description and wonder at those who do belong. What is the purpose ?
    Adrianus
    17th Jan 2015
    4:10pm
    At least we can agree that there is no constructive purpose. So you can change your avatar now.
    Misty
    17th Jan 2015
    4:44pm
    Are you talking double dutch Frank?, your reply makes no sense.
    Adrianus
    17th Jan 2015
    5:40pm
    Misty, geo knows what I'm talking about. Anyway regarding the question. Will you pay more to see your GP? Absolutely no question about it, eventually we will all pay more. The question may be how, rather than will we pay more. Australia's Health bill will blow out in the coming years, particularly the cost of mental health. I don't know why the government has been slow to fund a deradicalisation program. They have been talking about it since 2007.
    Misty
    17th Jan 2015
    6:46pm
    I knew it was worth waiting for, finally some sense from Frank.
    carmencita
    15th Jan 2015
    2:09pm
    I think the Abbott govt is looking at wrong direction for cost savings at the expense of general public. There are several unnecessary expenditures that can be eliminated without sacrificing the general public such as: scrapping parliamentarians allowances, consultants' fees (there are just too many and are costing millions), scrapping the offices of governors and governor general (they are useless positions and cost millions), foreign aids and housing for refugees (these costs billions), scrapping the provision of public office and staff for retired politicians, etc...
    EELS
    15th Jan 2015
    5:05pm
    Hyperventilating over. The changes to Medicare have been shelved.
    Misty
    16th Jan 2015
    9:32am
    The recent change flagged may have been shelved for now but others are in the pipeline according to the new Health Minister, Susan Ley, speaking to reporters today.
    Jacks
    16th Jan 2015
    4:06pm
    Another month, another health minister, another reboot of the discredited GP tax, but the same old false arguments. Health minister Sussan Ley repeated Peter Dutton’s claims that because Medicare cost more today than it did 10 years ago, this was proof growth in health funding was “unsustainable”.

    Is this really the case?

    Despite Ley being unable to produce any data to support her GP tax arguments, there is plenty of data out there. It just says the opposite.

    Embarrassingly for this government its own Australian Institute of Health and Welfare revealed in its Health Expenditure Australia 2012–13 report that health expenditure is actually growing at its lowest level since it began keeping records 30 years ago.

    The report found total spending on health goods and services in Australia was just 1.5% higher for the year. When population growth is taken into account, average annual health spending per person was actually down in real terms.

    In October (2014) the world’s most respected economic body, showed in the latest OECD comparisons of health spending across the developed world.

    Australia’s health outcomes are significantly better than the OECD average.
    Australia’s health spending (as a percentage of GDP) is lower than the OECD average.

    November’s (2014) Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health (Beach) report which exposed the stupidity of the stated aim of the GP tax to cut GP visits by 1 million consultations a year found that Labor's reforms to reward longer consultations are working, with GPs spending more time with their patients, and diagnosing an increasingly complex series of health issues catching them early and preventing higher costs later.

    The average consultation time is now 14.4 minutes, almost a minute longer than just three years earlier. The authors of the report are clear that spending on GP services is a sound investment that is reducing pressure on the health budget. GP services are far cheaper than other types of medical services, discouraging GP visits by introducing a standard co-payment for most patients would increase costs to governments, now and later.
    Misty
    16th Jan 2015
    4:28pm
    Thanks for some real information on this subject Jacks, unlike the lies and misinformation this government likes to spin us, and the gullible and those with blinkers on and their head in the sand believe it.
    Jacks
    16th Jan 2015
    6:46pm
    Thanks Misty,

    I'm glad you've enjoyed reading my posts.
    MITZY
    17th Jan 2015
    10:20am
    Thanks Jacks: You put it very well here and with fact. In a roundabout way I said exactly the same thing further up in the posts from what I thought were the benefits of leaving the system as it is. GP's are the gateway to prevention and therefore cost the government less in the long run in health costs. People in private health should not be subjected to the continual hike in their contributions to their health funds either if the health costs are reducing? The health funds are having a picnic with people's vulnerability ... less costs to health, less claims, should result in less cost for private health insurance.


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