Medicare can only be saved by voting Labor

June 23, 2016

The voting public has been warned not to fall for Coalition ‘spin’ that they have no plans to sell-off Medicare.

Shadow minister for health and Ballarat MP Catherine King said the facts were undeniable.

“Medicare should never be privatised and I was shocked when I found out Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull have been planning to sell it. It looks like he was shocked when Labor found out too,” Ms King said.

“Now that he has been caught out, Mr Turnbull has been blustering and denying everything and he is clearly very worried.”

Ms King said if Mr Turnbull had no plans to sell Medicare why:

  • Had the Coalition created a task force to make recommendations for how to prepare for a sale of Medicare.(1)
  • Did the Coalition give a consulting firm $5 million to start the sale – who have received expressions of interest in the privatisation of Medicare from big banks, telecommunications companies, and even Northup Grumman (a multinational security company). (2)
  • Did the Coalition ask the Productivity Commission to report on how to privatise government service delivery, including Medicare. (3)

“This all comes on top of cuts to our hospitals, a GP tax-by-stealth and making people pay for vital medical tests. The facts are on our side but Mr Turnbull’s supporters are in overdrive, covering for him and accusing Labor of a scare campaign. But if the Coalition get away with saying this is all a ‘scare campaign’we will lose more than the election – we will lose Medicare itself,” Ms King said.

It should be remembered that in 2004 the Coalition promised they were not going to make drastic changes to industrial relations laws and that Work Choices was not a 2004 Liberal party election policy. However, following the 2004 federal election, the LiberalNationalcoalitionheld a majority in both houses of parliament, and amendments were introduced into the House of Representatives on 2 November 2005. Remember WorkChoices.

Budget Paper No 2 2014-15, Market testing of the payment of health services by commercial payment service providers
Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee, 6 May 2016 – p5
Productivity Commission Inquiries – Human Services

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