Malcolm Turnbull has today confirmed his pathology fix is just a short-term stunt to get his government through the election, with his Medicare cuts to continue, in full, if he is re-elected.
“The savings will continue.”
“The minister expects the period of delay to be in the order of three months.”
Malcolm Turnbull Doorstop, 14 May 2016
Mr Turnbull’s confirmation that his Government will continue with its assault on patients after a three-month delay for the election confirms he remains determined to make cancer patients and others with chronic health conditions pay more for their vital tests.
The Government’s election fraud means the cuts to bulk billing payments for vital pathology tests and for X-Rays, MRIs, PET scans, mammograms and other vital scans will continue. This will leave patients with hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars in up-front costs.
The desperate desire by the Turnbull Government to get this issue off the table for the election is due entirely to Labor standing alongside the hundreds of thousands of Australians opposed to Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts.
Just weeks ago the Minister for Health was bitterly denouncing Labor’s campaign and insisting the Government would not back down.
“Why is Bill Shorten in bed with multinational pathology companies and why isn’t he asking them to pay their fair share?”
Media release, Sussan Ley 29 April 2016
It’s clear last night’s announcement was nothing more than a campaign stunt and the cuts will be immediately pushed through if the Turnbull Government is re-elected.
And of course, last night’s announcement does nothing to change the Liberals’ plan to privatise Medicare.
Malcolm Turnbull’s freeze on Medicare rebates – the $14 co-payment by stealth – remains in effect. Its policy intent is clear: to drive down bulk billing; drive up out-of-pocket costs; and destroy Medicare.
Labor created Medicare, and only a Shorten Labor Government will protect it.