In 1970, conservative republican US President Richard Nixon introduced a health bill into the American Congress. It passed but was defeated in the Senate. He didn’t realise it was a health bill, nor did many of his fellow politicians. It was called the Family Assistance Plan, a guaranteed income for families with children, not adequate to bring the income up to the poverty line, but substantially more than was previously on offer.
It required the breadwinner to accept work if available. Thus it was targeted, conditional, and inadequate by itself to eliminate poverty, but it was a huge change in thinking from a conservative leader in the United States. It came with this impressive rhetoric
“Initially this new system will cost more than welfare, but unlike welfare this is designed to correct the condition it deals with and thus lessen the long range burden and cost.”
5th Dec 2016
The Medicare rebate freeze is here to stay. Despite the Federal Government announcing it had heard the electorate expressing their concerns about Medicare at the election the Prime Minister is ploughing on, claiming that savings must be made, that people should pay a copayment if they can, and anyway the bulk billing rate is going up so patients aren’t missing out.
Do savings need to be made?
Countries increase their spending on health care as they get richer. In the last decade Australia has increased spending on health care from 8.8% of GDP to 10%, a figure very slightly above the median for OECD countries (1). Our budget deficit is lower than almost every OECD country.
23rd Jul 2016
A FAIR GO OR SHOULD WE TAX PEOPLE WHO ARE UNLUCKY ENOUGH TO BE SICK?
Do our leaders believe in a fair go? The Prime Minister has stated that he and Lucy have been lucky and observed that “there are taxi drivers that work harder than I ever have and they don’t have much money”. Read more
15th Jun 2015
The Doctors Reform Society are proud to sign a new open letter to Australian parliamentarians asking for significant commitments to carbon pollution reduction. This has been written as we approach the important UN conference in Paris in December 2015. We are but one of 51 diverse Australian organisations signing this letter.
15th May 2015
Last year’s budget was an easy target for those concerned about our health system. Now the Government is smarter. Instead of attempting to drive a truck through the very concept of a universal access health system, it has attempted to avoid confrontation by much more stealthy policies.
26th Apr 2015
First published: Sunday, April 26, 2015 8:20PM
Are co-payments dead? Or is that the sound of Medicare’s last gasps?
The GP co-payment is dead. So said the Prime Minister as he made his third retraction on the issue six weeks ago.
14th Feb 2015
First published: Saturday, February 14, 2015
Moving towards a two-tiered health system
Posted Wed 14 Jan 2015, 2:51pm
The Federal Government’s stated concern about “6 minute medicine” is a sham. The real agenda is to reduce Medicare, which is why we should be glad that the Senate has indicated its opposition, writes Tim Woodruff.
5th Jan 2015
First published: Monday, January 5, 2015