Tony Abbott’s refusal to abandon his GP Tax has exposed his promise at the Press Club on Monday to listen and consult as being as meaningless as all of his other promises.
Despite all the evidence that his GP Tax is bad for health, bad for the Budget and bad for patients, Tony Abbott and every Liberal leadership contender remain committed to hitting patients with a tax for visiting the doctor.
Just today, evidence to the Senate Select Committee on Health has confirmed the GP Tax will be a disaster for health care.
Both the Australian Medical Association and Royal Australian College of General Practitioners refuted Tony Abbott’s claim that the GP Tax would in any way strengthen Medicare.
Asked to respond to Tony Abbott’s claim that the Government’s cuts to health, and repeated attempts to impose a GP Tax on sick Australians would strengthen primary care, RACGP President Dr Frank Jones bluntly responded “they are not”.
Both the AMA and RACGP today told the Senate inquiry neither had been consulted about the GP Tax before the original Budget announcement, and were given just 20 minutes notice of the December reannouncement.
“The lack of consultation really means that the decisions that were made in relation to, in particular general practice, were made on the basis of anecdote, personal assertion and in particular ideology.”
AMA President Dr Brian Owler, Canberra, 5 February 2015
Medical experts also refuted Tony Abbott’s claim that Medicare spending is unsustainable and out of control, re-stating what Labor has been saying, that investing in primary health care is good health policy and good for the Budget.
Today’s remarks confirm Tony Abbott may have changed his Health Minister, but he hasn’t changed the Liberal Party’s determination to end bulk billing and destroy Medicare.
It’s still a tax, it’s still a broken promise and it will only ever rise as long as Tony Abbott and the Liberals remain in power.
Labor believes Australians should get the health care they need, not just what they can afford.
Only Labor will protect Medicare.
Labor built Medicare we won’t let the Liberals destroy it.
Only Labor will protect ordinary Australian families from the Liberals attempt to wreck Medicare and push up health costs for people already under financial pressure.