The Productivity Commission has today put the final nail in the coffin of the now twice discredited GP Tax, confirming the Abbott Government’s entire case for the GP Tax is built on a lie.
Despite repeated government claims Medicare is unsustainable, the Commission’s report on health services confirms Commonwealth spending on health is at the lowest level since the Commission began compiling its statistics.
The report shows in 2012/13 the Commonwealth’s share of total health expenditure fell from 43.1 per cent to 41.4 per cent.
Commonwealth spending on health fell in both real, and actual terms, down from $62.5 billion to $61 billion.
And spending on the target of the GP Tax, primary health care, has been effectively unchanged for a decade, accounting for 8.7 per cent of government health spending in 2012/13 compared to 9.0 per cent in 2003/04 and a peak of 9.3 per cent in 2004/05.
But at the same time, the report reveals 4.9 per cent of Australians are deferring visits to a GP and 7.6 per cent are missing prescriptions because of out of pocket costs, figures that can only worsen with the introduction of a GP Tax and hike in the PBS co-payment.
Today’s figures back up last year’s reports by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the OECD which confirmed health spending in Australia is both sustainable, and much better than many developed nations.
The reports confirms, as Labor has been saying from day one, that the GP Tax is built on a lie, and is nothing more than a grubby dash for cash.
Despite this, new Health Minister Sussan Ley is sticking firmly to Tony Abbott’s now discredited script, insisting that her third version of the GP Tax must involve an upfront charge, and real cuts to health finding.
The evidence is now in and the Minister should accept once and for all that the GP Tax cannot be reworked and must be abandoned.
The GP Tax is bad for health, bad for patients and bad for the Budget and Mr Brough has confirmed, once more, that only Labor can be trusted to defend Medicare, and the greatest threat to Medicare is a Liberal Government.