29 October 2009
The Rudd Government has this morning rejected legislation that would have prevented it slashing Medicare rebates for cataract surgery.
It appears determined to punish - mostly senior Australians - who need this life-changing surgery.
The Senate yesterday passed legislation that would ensure Medicare rebates remain unchanged – it was legislation to save the Rudd Government from itself.
But this morning Rudd Labor showed its bloody-mindedness and in typical Labor bully-boy fashion used its numbers to refuse to allow the House of Representatives to debate and pass the same legislation.
“If senior Australians face lower or zero rebates for cataract surgery it is on the head of this Government - Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his Health Minister Nicola Roxon,” Shadow Health Minister Peter Dutton said today.
“Pensioners groups have appealed to them, national representative groups of Australian seniors have appealed to them, the Senate has appealed to them, but the Rudd Government doesn’t want to hear the message – that it has deliberately targeted some of the neediest people in our community,” Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Health Administration Senator Mathias Cormann added.
“It wants to make them pay more for surgery that enables them to maintain a normal life – stay in their own home, continue to drive their car and continue to enjoy an active social life.”
Mr Dutton said: “This hard-hearted Government now has just hours to admit its error in wanting to slash by half the Medicare rebate for cataract treatment and restore it to its current level.”
“The Prime Minister should take his eyes off the international stage long enough to realise what his Government intends to do to our senior Australians and once he’s found a way out of his self-inflicted trouble, he should replace his Health Minister.”