After months of will they, won’t they, they finally have: the GP co-payment has been dumped.
The Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg revealed that the proposed co-payment scheme would not go ahead and the joint party room agreed to drop it this morning.
So why did they come to this decision after all the high-level talks about it? According to the ABC, Mr Frydenberg said, “There wasn’t enough support for it, particularly in the Senate”.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann predicted the verdict saying last night, “Findings were considered by the Government and will be considered by the party room this morning and no doubt there’ll be some other announcements after that”.
He made a comment that surely echoes the sentiments of those who have watched the co-payment debacle: “We’ve spent the last 10 months haggling over co-payments and I think the tragedy of this whole period is that other health policy has been neglected”.
SMH reports that the government will push ahead with a planned freeze on indexation for all Medicare rebates to 2018, which is expected to save more than $1 billion over four years.
Joe Hockey told reporters that the $5 rebate cut would cost the budget “a little less than $1 billion” over four years. “We’ve obviously listened to the medical community and we are going to continue to work closely with the medical community,” he said. “But it’s vitally important we continue on the path of getting to the point where we as a nation are living within our means”.
What do you think about the scrapped co-payment? Does this surprise you? How would a GP co-payment have affected your life?