Health care costs are a major issue in the election campaign and the Liberal Party is hoping to take advantage of the uncertainty by focusing on the importance of a plan to reform the way Medicare is funded.
Health Care Minister Nicola Roxon is set to launch a major overhaul of the Medicare system on Tuesday.
The plan, if successful, could give Medicare more independence and help to lower the cost of health care for many Australians, but it could also see the cost spiral spiral out of control, as it has done in the US and elsewhere.
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Mr Roxon said the plan would reduce the cost and burden of Medicare for everyone by introducing a national health super fund, which would be managed by the government.
“The Government is determined to make Australia’s health system affordable, transparent and accountable for all Australians,” Mr Roxon told reporters on Monday.
In addition, Mr Roxman said the government would introduce the reform plan to the Senate, where the proposal is likely to be approved.
But Ms Roxon will not be able change Medicare until after the next election.
Ms Roxon’s plan, known as the Commonwealth Super Fund, is set for a major shake-up of the way it is funded, with the super fund expected to raise $2.6 billion over the next four years, up from $1.9 billion in 2019-20.
She will say the super is intended to help people afford care in the private sector and is being set up to allow people to access Medicare through their employers and family members.
Critics say the plan is a giveaway to the private health insurance industry, which has a lot of clout in Medicare.
One of the main criticisms of the plan, however, is that it would create a massive debt burden for taxpayers.
Labor has called the plan a “puppet” for the private healthcare industry.
However, the Federal Government has pledged to protect Medicare, and Mr Roxons plan will be subject to a “public consultation”.
Mr Scott said he wanted to do everything he could to support people in their time of need, and not rely on private healthcare providers.
He said he would also give a priority to people with serious health conditions, and put in place a system that made it easy to see if a doctor or nurse was qualified to work in your area.
“People with serious conditions will be eligible for a Medicare card to get the care they need,” he said.
“[This is] an opportunity for Medicare to make it easier to see how qualified the provider is, and to access a high-quality, professional provider.”
We want to give Australians access to a high quality, professional care system so they can stay healthy and stay on track to keep their benefits,” he added.
‘There’s no reason why I can’t get a GP appointment’ Ms Gillard has said she will not take the Medicare card as long as it is needed.
And she has said the Liberals plan is designed to help Medicare enrolments, not the private insurance industry.”
I believe we need to give a little bit more certainty about the kind of system we’re going to have, and I think the fact is, if you’re not prepared to have a GP visit, you shouldn’t be on Medicare,” she said.”
And if you don’t have a job and you don’s not in a stable position, and you’re struggling to make ends meet, and if you can’t access the care you need, you should be on a different pathway.
“Ms Rudd said she would be open to supporting the plan if it came from the Labor Party.
A key difference between the two parties, Ms Rudd said, is her opposition to private health insurers.
We don’t want to go into a situation where we have an insurance company telling you when and where you can get a consultation, or a GP call, and say ‘you need to get on this and you should do it, it’s free’,” she said, adding the Medicare Card will allow Australians to access the services they need without worrying about insurance.
Liberal MP Peter Slipper said the Liberal plan was “very much in the spirit of the Affordable Care Act”, which was designed to make sure people could get the health care they needed.
“What the Government is proposing is a significant expansion of Medicare to include private insurance,” he told ABC radio.