Tag Archives: Medicare

IAN McAULEY. Labor’s love affair with private health insurers

There was a recent flurry of media excitement about a supposed “secret hospital funding plan”, which turned out to be no more than an option under consideration by a think-tank. But the real (and overlooked) issue in health funding is … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. The litany of failed privatisations.

Ideologues ,the self interested bankers and accountants and lawyers still persist with their fixation with privatisation despite the fact that it is failing in one area after another and the electorate shows very clearly that it does not want it.  … Continue reading

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STEPHEN DUCKETT. Labor charts a health policy rethink

The Labor Party has released a summary of the proceedings of its ‘National Health Policy Summit’, held in Canberra on 3rd March. Good on the ALP for holding the summit. Trouble is, the ‘communique’, while summarising the views of the … Continue reading

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IAN McAULEY. Brexit, Trump and the Lucky Country 3 – Globalization takes the rap, unfairly

Globalization has been only one of the developments that has led to widening inequality and social exclusion. Countries that have globalized have also introduced a raft of neoliberal domestic policies, against which people are reacting.

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WAYNE SWAN. The blindness of affluence and the need for a more inclusive form of prosperity.

This is a repost from 15 November 2016. Just over two years ago I was in New York working with Larry Summers and Ed Balls to prepare a report for the Center for American Progress on inclusive prosperity. One morning … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Who said this and when.

Private health insurance is unfair and inefficient. It was because of this that the Whitlam Government established Medibank/Medicare.  

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IAN WEBSTER. Standing up for Medicare.

Fair access to health care is in the zeitgeist of European countries and Australia. The political sensitivities of this issue were demonstrated in the last election with the angst generated by the Labor Party’s “Mediscare” campaign.

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ARTHUR CHESTERFIELD-EVANS. Compulsory Third Party insurance in NSW- a Bad System about to Get Worse?

  CTP, Compulsory Third Party insurance (Green Slips) in NSW are looking increasingly like a scam. In theory, if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident that is not your fault, all ‘reasonable and necessary’ treatment is currently paid … Continue reading

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STEPHEN DUCKETT. Blood money: pathology cuts can reduce spending without compromising health

In the coming weeks I will be posting articles on the high costs and corporate nature of pathology in Australian. The following article by Stephen Duckett in The Conversation, even though posted in February this year, helps set the scene. … Continue reading

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JOHN DWYER. A shared vision for restructuring primary care in Australia.

  At last the clouds are dispersing, the sun is shining through and one can see a splendid vision of a restructured primary health system that meets the needs of contemporary Australia. For the first time that I can remember, … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. What the major parties ignored in the election?

  The election seemed more about avoiding some key issues than a contest of values and ideas. Because so many key issues such as refugees were avoided, it is not surprising that so many voters, about one third, turned their … Continue reading

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DAVID POPE. Medicare – Eaten out from within.

  This cartoon by David Pope was published in The Canberra Times. I posted this cartoon on social media today, with links to your blog article. The cartoon was, in part, inspired by your posts. Too often, a good thousand words is worth … Continue reading

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ARTHUR CHESTERFIELD-EVANS. Medicare- Did the Liberals try to abolish it?

  This is a current question with Shorten claiming that the Liberals are trying to privatise it and Turnbull calling this a Labor lie. What is the truth? The answer is in the history of Medicare funding. Medibank was set … Continue reading

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BRUCE BAER ARNOLD. How Pathology Australia advocates for ‘patient care’ to achieve big corporate profits.

Each time we go for a blood test to investigate or keep track of an illness, or have a tissue sample from a Pap test or suspicious mole sent off for analysis, the wheels of the pathology industry are put … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Health principles and policies for the next parliament.

Thanks to Medicare introduced over 40 years ago, despite bitter conservative opposition, we have one of the best health systems in the world. It is sustainable but we waste over $20 b per annum. There are threats and problems that … Continue reading

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John Menadue. Hoist with their own petard

Private health insurance funds like NIB are complaining about high specialist fees. But these very same funds are major contributors to the problem. And it is a problem. In the last 30 years we have seen a dramatic increase in … Continue reading

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John Menadue. Part 1. How we deliver health care is as important as the funding of health care. Medicare has degenerated into a payments system

Part 1 of these articles will focus on the inefficient way we deliver health care, the many perverse incentives and the power of vested interests to resist reform in health care delivery. Part 2 will focus more particularly on examples … Continue reading

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Stephen Duckett. Health in 2016: a cheat sheet on hospitals, Medicare and private health insurance.

We start 2016 as we started 2015 – with big challenges for the health system and uncertainty as to how governments will meet them. The health care headaches in 2016 are, in fact, the same ones we faced a decade … Continue reading

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Ian McAuley Private health insurance – does the lady protest too much?

Sussan Ley, the Commonwealth Health Minister, has hit out at private health insurers’ bid for a six per cent price increase. In view of the strong support the Coalition has always given private health insurers, such public criticism from a … Continue reading

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Michael Keating. Tax Reform and Future Federal-State Relations

All informed opinion is that fiscal repair in Australia will require action on the revenue side as well as the expenditure side of the Budget. Accordingly at least some tax reform is essential and unavoidable. In addition, reform of the … Continue reading

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John Dwyer. Why we don’t want private health insurance for primary care.

  The worst possible outcome from the current review of Private Health Insurance would be changes that resulted in the best-resourced Primary Care being only available to those who have such insurance. Obviously insurers and the insured would be expecting … Continue reading

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John Menadue. Health Policy Reform: Part 1 – Why reform is needed

Policy Series I will be posting three articles on health policy. This article outlines the priority areas where reform is necessary. Part 2 will explain why reform is so difficult but not impossible. Part 3 will be about processes and … Continue reading

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John Menadue. Health Insurance – here we go again!

The Health Minister, Sussan Ley has just announced a 6.2% increase in private health insurance premiums.  Increases of this order happen almost every year. Since the Howard government introduced the rebate on private health insurance in 1999, the cost of … Continue reading

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John Attia, John Duggan. Why the government would have us pay more for poorer health.

The Coalition government has been claiming that Australia’s public health system is unsustainable since the 2014 budget. But its plans for the health system actually reflect the underlying belief that user-pays health systems are better – despite evidence to the … Continue reading

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Helena Britt. General Practice and value for money.

Last year taxpayers spent A$6.3 billion on GP services through Medicare, about 6% of the total government health expenditure. This was a 50% increase (A$2.1 billion) in today’s dollars over the past decade and equates to about A$60 more per … Continue reading

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Richard Norman, Suzanne Robinson. Health lessons from England.

  While Australia and England share much of their cultural heritage, the countries have answered the challenge of funding health care in quite different ways. The Australian Medicare system is predominantly based around private practice and fee-for-service. The English National … Continue reading

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John Dwyer. The structural reform of Medicare rather than its funding is the real challenge.

Part 2: Attracting the future work force needed to provide Primary Care. There is another imperative for introducing Integrated Primary care (IPC),the new model of primary care described in part one of this review; the recruitment of the next generation … Continue reading

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John Dwyer. The structural reform of Medicare rather than its funding is the real challenge.

Part 1; The model of primary care we need for contemporary Australia. For months the federal government has been telling us that a mandatory co-payment for a visit to our GP was essential to afford the $19 billion we currently … Continue reading

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How does Australia’s health system compare.

The Treasurer, the Minister for Health and the Commission of Audit have warned us in one way or another that the Australian health service is unsustainable, particularly with an ageing population. The Treasurer tells us that the age of entitlement … Continue reading

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John Menadue. Health Co-payments and $7 for a GP visit!

We do need to take action to curb our visits to the doctor. In 1984-85 we averaged about 7 Medicare services per head. By 2012-13 it had doubled to over 15 Medicare services per head. The increase was across all age … Continue reading

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