Thursday, 18 December 2014

$1billion freeze on Medicare levy - $45 gap in 3 years predicted

Well the gov has found a way to chop into Medicare bulk billing big time. The $5 cut to the Medicare rebate hasn't a hope of getting through the senate, but there's another sly move the gov has bought into play. They are just completely obsessed with clobbering the sick and poor, in what ever way they possibly can.

Usually the Medicare rebate is indexed to inflation or whatever. So it gradually increases to cover that. However the gov has decided to freeze these increases for three years. Saving the gov $1billion over that time (about half an F-35). Unlike the $5 cut to the rebate which won't pass the senate, this is technically not changing the rebate and therefore requires no legislation. 

In short the senate can't do a thing about it.

So of course the doctors and Medical centres simply can't freeze their costs, which will increase as usual. Hence they will have no choice over time but to introduce a co-payment. Just because pensioners and the like won't have to pay it means little really. As I've said before I know what it's like being the main wage earner in a family struggling to get by. Just because you're working doesn't mean you don't need to be bulk billed. 
“The AMA is strongly opposed to all three measures in the Government’s package that attack general practice”. 

“This is a triple blow that will hit general practice like a wrecking ball. The AMA will do all it can to stop these destructive changes,” he said. 

He earlier issued this warning: “What we do know is that the Senate is unable to block one of the key parts of the new policy — that being the freeze on all Medicare rebates,” he said. 

The consequence for patients is that while their Medicare rebate is frozen for three years their doctor’s fee will continue to rise by an average 2.5 per cent a year to cover rising wages and rents. 

The AMA’s recommended fee for doctors now worth $75 will rise to around $82 by 2018. The Medicare rebate will, however, remain static at $37 leaving patients with a gap fee of around $45. more  

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