What a bunch of cowards. To avoid yet another
embarrassing defeat in the senate, the PM capitulates on the proposed
reduction of the Medicare rebate and sends out the new girl, the one
with the least experience, to announce their incompetence to the world.
Tony Abbott couldn’t even stand beside her in support. Or, did she prefer that he didn’t?
“I’ve heard, I’ve listened and I’m deciding to take this
action now. It’s off the table and I stand ready to engage, to consult,
and to talk to the sector,” she said. Really?
ever the new Minister for Health looked like the sacrificial offering
to a media that would have much preferred to grill Peter Dutton, Sussan
Ley was it. Yet Dutton, who quietly introduced this back door decision
by regulation just two days before Christmas, was nowhere to be seen.
Another day in government, another painful backflip. In an earlier
article of mine a respondent expressed his uncertainty as to whether
this government was just chronically stupid or were they evil. I told
him they were likely both. They were mostly stupid but when that failed,
they turned to evil.
This most recent saga vindicates that claim. The reduction of the
rebate for consultations, which was yet another attempt to inflict pain
on the most vulnerable, was doomed from the start. There was no
consultation with the medical profession, just a quietly executed
decision to impose a further burden on GPs with a planned starting date
ahead of introducing the bill before parliament.
The government’s pathetic attempts to make adjustments to Medicare are
more pythonesque than John Cleese and the Monty team could have created.
Firstly a $7 co- payment, then a $5 cut in rebates for consultations
and now this vindictive act of deception, all of which have resulted in
embarrassing too for Bruce Billson MP who went on the front foot in
support of the reduction only to find himself up the well-known creek in
a canoe, possibly made by the Adelaide shipyards, but without a paddle.
Mis-management of this magnitude in the corporate world would be
terminal. No responsible board of directors could tolerate such
incompetence. Yet we, the long suffering people, who manage our affairs
with calculated precision or pay the price, are forced to wince in pain
at what we can best describe as a comedy routine turned sour.
The government is insisting that if Labor continues to block these
measures in the Senate, it should propose an alternative. Really? Labor
is not in government and is not in the business of helping the
government out of this, or any other, hole it digs for itself. But I’d
be happy to.
the Medicare levy is one possible answer. But not for those earning
less than $50,000 a year. A modest increase from 1.5% to 2% for those
earning $50,001 to $100,000. An increase from 1.5% to 2.5% for those
earning $100,001 to $200,000. And an increase from 1.5% to 3% for those
earning above $200,000 per annum. I am sure that will go a long way to
covering the $10 billion shortfall they are trying to fill. If it
doesn’t, then they might take more than a cursory glance at the $300
private health insurance rebate. Really boys and girls, it’s not that
Is it any wonder Bill Shorten is now the preferred prime minister
even though he has done nothing to deserve it? How much more would the
voters prefer him if he stuck his head up and fired a few cannons
instead of water pistols? It’s not as if he doesn’t have the ammunition.
How much more of this ineptitude are we expected to endure?