Pay the doctor not the taxman 199



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Tony Abbott has finally and controversially dumped the GP co-payment policy that he has fought so valiantly for, for months as a major component of his budget and instead is encouraging doctors to become the administration of his tax.  Abbott, in a press conference today extended an invitation to doctors to charge a $5 ‘discretionary’ fee for consultations with patients who do not have concession cards.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the government plans to stick with its plan to reduce the Medicare rebate GPs receive for common consultations by $5 for adults who are non-concession card holders from July 1 next year and freeze rebates until 2018 for doctors.

Under the new scheme, children under 16, pensioners, veterans and people in aged care and nursing homes will be exempt from the rebate cut.

Tony Abbott finally stepped up to the nation and conceded that the $7 co-payment would not have the support to pass the Senate.

It’s been a subject that has blown hot and cold for the government over the last two weeks, with announcement after announcement about the program being off, then not off, before this final concession.  And this announcement is one that has been in part welcomed by the AMA, who are celebrating the fact that the new approach protects ‘vulnerable people’ but also fighting for more for the doctors.

There is no doubt about it, Tony Abbott is proud of his new approach.  [This is]”a system which is better for children and for pensioners, a new and improved proposal which indicates that this is a government which is always capable of listening, learning and improving,” he said.

How do you feel about the new approach to seeing a doctor? Do you think that Abbott’s new approach to charging those who are not concessional, via the doctor, is appropriate? 

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. The only thing that has changed is that Tony Abbott is now expecting the Doctors to pay the new tax instead of the patients. I really can’t see that happening, and when it doesn’t, he will blame the Doctors.

    4 REPLY
    • We have been small retailers and had to complete BAS (business activity statements to calculate the GST) and it was done by our accountant. I am pretty sure that doctors use accountants who can just include it in their tax statements.

    • the Liberal Party have doubled the debt in their very short time in office.. just today they are giving away 200 million of our money to an International climate fund.. and they say we are too poor to cover the cost of medicare and pensions? pull the other bloody one it plays jingle bells!!

  2. They have backdoored it, this tax will start at $5.00 and go up, they have put the onus now on our doctors. Abbott plays the blame game, he will blame anyone who does not approve this including the doctors.

    2 REPLY
    • mike here-$8.00 to cover accounting fees. I’ve said before, watch your back passage, the devil is in the detail. I’m not anti it for me because I am on a DVA pension but there are a lot of people who work full & part-time to make ends meet but the ends for them are spreading further & further apart.

    • If you have a concession card you should be covered Mike, I agree I am concerned for those who are struggling and secondly because I feel this is only the first step in dismantling medicare..fee’s never come down..they always rise

  3. there goes australia as we knew it.

    3 REPLY
    • We have never been such a nanny state. We want everything paid for by the Government these days. It is not the Government, but the attitude of the people that has changed and they are changing the Aussie culture not the Government. The Labor party is of no help, as they are automatically against everything this Government proposes, without thinking or coming up with other proposals.

    • The Labor party are now doing to the LNP exactly what the rabbit done in opposition.Abbott was known as Dr No in opposition.

    • Well Kim Austin, shame on you. Seems like the ALP didn’t listen more to his No. Our economy wouldn’t be half as bad as what it is thanks to them.

  4. The Government has dumped this into the lap of our doctors, these are medical men and women not accountants. This scheme will not stay static it will rise.. it is an attempt to get rid of medicare

    5 REPLY
    • this is nothing more than abbott having a hissy fit the sooner he is out of politics the better, then he go back and live in england

    • So Abbott goes, Shorten enters the fray – what will he do, because he will have to do something.

    • No opposition Bill hands its policies this early early in the election cycle as well you should know.. before the election the ALP will give us their policies but after all these lies and all the animosity this Liberal Government. has cause I doubt they will promise things they can’t deliver on. We all have a choice..if you don’t like what they are saying..don’t vote for them

  5. The back door Rabbott wouldn’t want that face at my door same old story blame everyone else to take the guilt off him and his phoney gang of criminals

    3 REPLY
    • What a foolish thing to say. Better him than Bill Shorten. Now there is a leader of a gang,a very foolish gang at that. Toughen up! we as a country are up to our eyeballs in debt bought on by guess who? Yep that’s right The Labour Party

  6. I reckon make the co-payment voluntary and the money goes to the Research facility. Those that can may pay and those that can’t or don’t want to don’t have to. You could put this onto all sorts of bills like Elec, Water, rates etc.

    1 REPLY
    • We don’t need a research facility. What we need is for this government to properly fund the extremely effective ones we already have. They are cutting funding and top notch scientists are being sacked. This is all about setting up a deal with big pharma that he and his mates will get kick backs from. Check out the name of one of the sponsors on his lycra racing gear. That will give you a clue.Look at how smart Aussies are 🙂

  7. We can not trust a PM elected on lies.

    2 REPLY
    • Oh yeah. Of course you can trust labour? Look at their track history. They got us into this situation and Abbot must fix it. He can’t wave a magic wand you know. Where do you suggest he gets money from to pay the huge debt left by labour. Stop burying your head in sand like so many other Australians are on this sight

  8. My children won’t be able to afford to take their kids to the doctors thanks to abbot

    4 REPLY

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