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  1. 1

    Dr George Margelis

    It is great to see that the discussion has moved on to the real problem, The way we currently pay for healthcare in Australia and many other countries drives the current problem of increasing costs without driving better outcomes.
    Anne-Marie has summarised the option, what we now need is leadership to drive them through. The health cost problem is potentially much more dangerous than many of the other issues the government has turned its attention to. We can try introducing more taxes to help cover the costs, but at some stage you just run out of taxable income, so reform of the system now is really the only option.

  2. 2

    Leo Braun

    “The harsh reality is that we cannot afford to do everything that we want or need to do [like the pink batts] to improve people’s health, at least not without finding new revenue sources (for example from taxes, the private sector and individuals). As Minister Roxon explained, the constraints on public sector financing mean that govts will need to play a more active role in determining what will, and will not, be funded in health care”!

    • So much for all that monumental grandstanding observed alike within the concluding spin of the Aug 21, 2010 federal election, to culminate with Julia Gillard as Prime Minister. Not before she fooled betrayed voters: “I am determined to make a difference for Australians on health. Help me make this difference by supporting your local Labor candidate. I have always understood in my core, how important health is. It’s why I am so passionate about improving Australia’s health services and taking a leadership role with the States”!

    Surely cunning to seduce naive voters whatever it takes to get elected on the false pretences, then ignore constituents elementary needs!

  3. 3

    Captain Planet

    Are we, for example, prepared to consider solutions such as paying more tax?

    speaking for myself, hell yes.

    do we want to move away from public financing and encourage the private sector and individuals to play a greater role?

    only if we want a public health disaster as inequitable as America’s.

    Governments will have to make the public more aware that there are limits on what they can spend on health care.


    Perhaps if we cancelled the FBT rort for vehicles.
    Perhaps if we abolished the diesel fuel rebate for industry.
    Perhaps if we raised the medicare levy to 5 %.
    Perhaps if we scrapped the private health insurance rebate.
    Perhaps if we stopped funding private school education for the rich.
    Perhaps if we raised the corporate tax rate.
    Perhaps if we means tested the aged pension and stopped handing out free bus tickets to everyone over the age of 65.
    Perhaps if we stopped fighting expensive wars invading other people’s countries.
    Perhaps …. we could afford to spend what we NEED to provide every Australian with the health care THEY need.

    Here’s a thought… how about we make road construction and maintenance a user – pays system, and provide universal free healthcare.

    Or how about we make the NBN construction and access a user pays system…. and provide free universal healthcare.

    Here’s an even better one… how about we concentrate more spending on preventative health, outlaw cigarette smoking, and stop permitting and encouraging the purchase of cars capable of travelling at 300 km / hr. We may find that a heck of a lot of our health spending is actually unnecessary.

    Thought provoking article, which unfortunately starts from the presupposition that health care spending needs to be reined in. Frankly, I think it needs to be expanded. As technology advances and new treatments become available, of course medical costs
    will rise.

  4. 4

    Leo Braun

    “Govts will also have to convince health care providers that changes are needed so that better care can be provided at a lower cost”.

    • Imperatively, independent MPs balance of power be invoked to confront the institutionalised coercion where closed-shop affiliates of the orthodox medical fraternity are precluded from advertising any competitive services or to display pleased clientele testimonials apropos attained cure. Under taboo information-flow doctrine, because competition found to be detrimental to the closed-shop affiliates. Hell-bent to retain their autocratic status quo!


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