I am here representing the community of Lalor and I am here having a go for health. This budget demonstrates most sadly, most disappointingly, that this government is absolutely determined, by fair means or foul, by the hand of Minister Dutton or Minister Ley, to destroy Medicare. This week's budget confirms what we on this side predicted would be the case—that the $1 billion plus being cut from Medicare rebates will mean the destruction of bulk-billing.It is not just the Labor Party saying this. Professor Owler was quoted in the press yesterday and today. He says:
They are going to mean a lot more out-of-pocket expenses and it's going to put a lot of pressure on people's private health insurance premiums …
And the Public Health Association of Australia's CEO, Michael Moore, has called the budget 'a bloodbath for health'.
The government wants us to be talking about their big spending budget, but their ideological attacks on public health continue. Their GP tax is alive and well. They have changed the minister but they have not changed their mind. In fact, they have gone further, with more cuts in this budget, after backing in last year's cruel cuts to health in the 2014 budget.