JOHN MENADUE. Medicare, Private Health Insurance and the ALP

In my article, ‘Down a different path in Melbourne: how Medibank was conceived’ written in 2000 for the Medical Journal of Australia (see link below), I described the history from 1967 to 1975 which led to Medibank/Medicare.  In that article, I highlighted one issue that drove Gough Whitlam’s determination to establish Medibank/Medicare. His concern was that “The Liberal and Country party Coalition’s voluntary health insurance scheme, supported by taxpayer deductions was wasteful and inequitable.”

The package of measures that introduced Medibank/Medicare abolished the taxpayer subsidy for private health insurance. When the Hawke government introduced a revised Medicare in 1983 it removed the private health insurance subsidies that the Fraser government had introduced.

The ALP today doesn’t understand the threat to Medicare of the $11 billion per annum  government subsidy to private health insurance. I drew attention to this in an earlier blog, ‘The Labor Party does not understand its own creation‘.


Down a different path in Melbourne:  how Medibank was conceived’.   Menadue article (1)


John Menadue is the publisher of Pearls & Irritations. He has had a distinguished career both in the private sector and in the Public Service.

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