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Two bad ideas scrapped, one to go

Media Release
Richard Di Natale 2 Mar 2015

Australian Greens health spokesperson and former GP, Dr Richard Di Natale, welcomed reports that the government is planning to scrap its planned $5 Medicare rebate cut but said the fight to protect Medicare isn’t over.

“We will all celebrate if the $5 cut to Medicare rebates is finally sent to the graveyard of dumb policy ideas but nobody should forget that the worst aspect of the government’s Medicare changes remains in place,” said Senator Di Natale.

“The government still intends to freeze Medicare rebates for four years, which equates to a six per cent reduction in the revenue of GPs according to the Grattan Institute. The cumulative impact of this policy is 50 per cent larger than the $5 cut would have delivered and patients will be the ones who pay the price.

“The Medicare rebate freeze is simply a GP co-payment by stealth, and nobody will be protected – not the old, not the young, not concession card holders.

“The community should be congratulated for standing firmly against the co-payment proposal but the fight to protect Medicare is not over yet. And if the Labor party opposes GP co-payments then it should stand with the Greens in unequivocally opposing the Medicare rebate freeze."

Media contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600

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