Health takeover all about tax, not hospitals
Please let us be honest about what we have just seen happen in this country over the last few weeks culminating in COAG.
The Prime Minister has successfully achieved a GST grab from the states, all but one, under the guise of “the most revolutionary health reform since the advent of Medicare”.
It is not a health reform agenda. It is a GST reform with a health bribe as an inducement to the States and more importantly, to con the general public. The Federal government proclaiming that it is for the first time assuming dominant funding responsibility for health over the States in a 60/40 split it is a proclamation made with State money taken with the right hand and given back with the left. What is taken and not given back is State control over increasing portions of GST income.
Billions have been brought out and put on the table; piecemeal contributions in Mental Health; promises in aged care without the business case for more beds; all the right noises about bed numbers, wait lists, doctors and nurses. Dollars promised are a re-announcement of previous commitments or money that would appear in the budget, or unfunded promises with money yet to be found.
There was a declaration that changes to the private health insurance rebate would have to occur to assist in funding the reforms. These very changes which lie in a broken election promise will in fact push more Australians in to the public hospitals and increase need and demand.
At the same time we have not dealt with the so called “blame game”, we have increased the bureaucracy, and now we are threatening one State with penalty and with holding of money because WA would not be bullied into giving away it’s GST. You have to wonder if this is how you run a country.
If you follow the thread of the home insulation catastrophe, the rip off and excess costs in the school building program, this health and GST circus, and now add the broken promise with regards child care places; you could not be blamed for having your confidence in government truly unravelled.
What on earth could be next? The Henry tax reforms, the budget, and a huge deficit.
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