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18 November 2012 The Gillard Government is bleeding billions from the family budgets of 10 million Australians with private health insurance, to pay for 5 years of Labor waste and policy failures. All Australians are suffering the erosion of Medicare and other health cuts.

Shadow Minister Peter Dutton has highlighted failed border protection as one of the many Labor policy failures draining money away from health.

“This month alone 24 boats have arrived with 1300 foreign people who will be accommodated by the Gillard Government, instead of caring for Australians in our health system,” Mr Dutton said.

Individuals are spending $24 billion a year on health, in addition to private health insurance premiums and paying for government health services through tax. High out of pocket health expenses is the new reality for Australians.

Mr Dutton knows the Coalition has the constant fiscal discipline, unlike Labor, to protect families.

“The Gillard Government has failed the core task of managing our nation’s economic health. That’s why they can’t afford to invest in the health of Australians. Fiscal discipline can’t be an 11th hour epiphany. This nation got Swan and Wong, when it needed Hockey and Robb,” Mr Dutton said.

“Both Medicare and private health insurance are being eroded by this Government. More Australians are at risk everyday of suffering personal financial disaster as a result of health problems. This is a cruel failing of our health system that Australians will not tolerate,” Mr Dutton said.

Minister Tanya Plibersek has defended the Government’s inadequate Medicare investment by directing people to the same private health insurance system she has been attacking through repeated cuts.

The Gillard Government keeps cutting health and then acts surprised that families are hurting. Labor’s record is:

·         $2.8 billion cut by means testing of private health insurance rebates.

·         $700 million cut by not paying the rebate on private health insurance increases above CPI.

·         $390 million cut by completely removing rebates from Lifetime Health Cover loading.

·         Over $1 billion robbed in dividends from Medibank, that should have been putting downward pressure on premiums.

·         Another $1 billion cut from dental health by abandoning chronically ill patients to public lists.

·         Hundreds of millions in multiple cuts to the Medicare Safety Net, including obstetrics and IVF.

·         Limiting new medicines onto the PBS by politicising the process.

·         $1.6 billion cut from health payments to the States and Territories.

Mr Dutton is sure we haven’t seen the last of Labor’s health cuts.

“Labor won’t stop cutting, Minister Plibersek’s latest cut is $1.6 billion from the States and Territories, so families will not find refuge from these cuts in our nation’s public hospitals,” Mr Dutton said.

ENDS

Media contact: Kenneth King – 0437 436 780 or (07) 3205 9977

Posted in: Media Releases
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