Labor Party investigated over ‘Mediscare’ campaign

They ran a fierce campaign during the federal election earlier this year, but it looks like Labor’s tactics may come

They ran a fierce campaign during the federal election earlier this year, but it looks like Labor’s tactics may come back to bite them.

The party is reportedly being investigated by police over it’s so-called Mediscare campaign after rolling out the dialogue again in the lead up to the ACT election at the weekend.

Throughout both election campaigns, Labor consistency claimed, and sent out text messages to voters’ mobiles, that the Coalition was going to privatise Medicare and send the cost of healthcare skyrocketing.

Now the chief counsel at the ­Department of Human Services has referred the matter to the Australian Federal Police, reports The Australian.

Labor and the Government have been fighting over the issue since the election, with prime minister Malcolm Turnbull accusing the Opposition of lying to voters and Bill Shorten calling on the PM to answer a question “without another ­tantrum about a text message”.

ACT party secretary Matthew Byrne apologised soon after receiving a letter from the Government Solicitor.

“I can confirm that ACT Labor has ceased distributing this material and we undertake not to further distribute any material that features the Medicare logo,’’ Mr Byrne said.

Human Services Minister Alan Tudge demanded a similar apology from Mr Shorten.

“If the head of the ACT Labor Party can determine that what they did was wrong and apologise for their actions, how long will it take the Leader of the ­Opposition to apologise for what he did during the federal campaign?” he told parliament on Thursday.

Under federal law, it is an offence to use Medicare’s name or logo in any way without government authority, meaning the Labor party could be in trouble.

Do you think Labor is right about it’s Medicare claims? Or should they face punishment for the campaign?

  1. Bruce Taylor  

    I am what you would call a swinging voter and vote according to what I personally think would be best for the country. Given that the best predictor of what will happen in the future is what has happened in the past, particularly as far as human behaviour is concerned, I have little doubt that labor is right about medicare. Of course that does not mean that they are right about everything else.
    The coalition has record of being anti medicare or medibank as the original was called before they scrapped it. Don’t be misled. If it is at all possible without massive uproar they would scrap it in an inatant.

    • Brian Lee  

      Surely ‘Medicare’ and ‘Medibank’ are two separate issues, with the Medicare organisation running the medical service for every citizen, while Medibank is the government’s own private insurance company. The two have no connection with each other, but both are still operating as far as I am aware.

  2. Why don’t we have an enquiry about all the lies which have been proven to be lies, when Tony Abbott was standing for election. The Mediscare announcements have already been proven to be true. Chase the lies which won the election in 2013, not the truth which was not quite enough to win in 2016.

    • billb  

      They have already messed with Medicare so you would have to be pretty silly to think they wont attack it again. Look what the have done and are doing to the aged pension. We wont touch it they said. We now get increases based on CPI which usually equates to less than the cost of a cup of coffee. At least when it was based on the cost of living we occasionally got a reasonable increase. Typical LNP get stuck into those that can least afford it and look after the top end of town. GO PAULINE!!!!!

  3. I find it extremely odd that whilst Medicare is crumbling before our very eyes, the LNP is telling us Medicare will be retained. And people continue to believe the lie that it’s just a Labor scare. One day before we went to the polls, they removed funding for blood tests and xrays and still they were believed by at least 49% of our nation’s voters. Odd, and embarrassing. What the hell does it take to open people’s eyes? Watch this.

    • The Liberals destroyed Medicare once before, when it was named Medibank. They sold it. Sound familiar? Labor reinstalled it as Medicare. What the hell does it take to open people’s eyes? Medicare is the one good thing left the people still have, and it’s disappearing before their eyes. Are we going to sit, slack jawed and mouth agape and continue to vote LNP?

    • Joy Anne Bourke  

      Yes I agree Medicare has changed since the election. All prescriptions have increased, especially the ones that are not generic. I cannot take generic medicines as they are not the same and make me very ill. The dosage is the same but the compound of the makeup is totally different. I now have to pay more for my scripts since 1st July. I am a pensioner and now have fallen way behind the eight ball to live a reasonable life, poverty line as the increase does not cover my increase in prescriptions.

  4. Dee  

    Those of us who were around when LNP killed the old “medibank” and forced us to go into private funds. Nothing Labor said was a lie and the long-term intention is still there. Remember how Turnbull backed down on the move to change bulk billing for lab tests, very conveniently announcing it during a debate with Bill. The only reason more cuts haven’t happened is because their hold on power is so tenuous and they are always pressured on this issue by Labor. The so-called “mediscare” was necessary to alert the people of what was ahead but unfortunately not quite enough were alerted and we have another three years of destruction to bear and it is already becoming unbearable.

  5. Truth 13  

    Why is it suddenly Federal Police has become anti Labour. If they are really serious, why is it John Howard was not charged for hisBIG LIE “Never Never GST’, or Tony Abbott is still not in the jail for his BIG CON, “No Cuts” mantra. They raided the office of Stephen Conroy, on a complain by the NBN. If I complain about some matter, will take the same attitude ?. It looks Fed. Police have been politicised, and no longer impartial. It has become an arm of Liberal Party. Why did Liberals refereed the Medicare to a productivity commission before the election. Was it to cut “grass’, or clean the toilets ?.

    • Peta McHardy  

      two entirely different things. Truth 13. All Politicians make promises they cannot keep. This was a Government sending txt messages into scaring people to vote for the Government.

  6. Jacaranda  

    This piece is a big anti-Labor party beat up. And inaccurate in many details. Starts at 60 should be more selective in choosing what to publush. The Coalition has a long history of hating, dismantling, reducing, fiddling with Medicare. The ACT local issue related to a new innovation of nurse-led clinics which the Liberals didnt like, but which were popular with Canberrans.

    • Sam  

      Fully agreed.

      The fact that non-liberal slanted media sources perpetuate this mediscare myth is mystifying.

      At least with the likes of the daily telegraph and so on, you know why they gain from turning ‘Mediscare’ into a thing but why do Fairfax, startsat60 and so on want to do the liberals work for them? What do they gain from it that Murdoch’s lot do?

  7. Tom Griffiths  

    What? This is supposedly about the unlawful use of the Medicare logo. “Under federal law, it is an offence to use Medicare’s name or logo in any way without government authority,” What a load of crap, it’s just a stunt by the Govt.

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