Abbott’s back down welcome but the fight for Medicare is not over

The Health Minister’s back down on changes to Medicare rebates is a win for patients and doctors but the fight for Medicare is not over, Terri Butler MP said.

“The community will welcome the Abbott Government’s sudden back down on their savage cuts to the Medicare rebate. However, the Prime Minister is still committed to taxing families when they visit the GP,” Terri Butler said.

“The concerted campaign by Labor, doctors and the community has forced the Government to scrap plans to cut the Medicare rebate on some consultations by more than $20.

“Doctor’s in my electorate were outraged at the timing of this sneaky regulation, just before Christmas, leaving them to explain the changes to their patients.

“These changes would have meant that patients would have to pay extra to visit their local GP.

“It would have forced some GPs to stop bulk billing altogether.

“However, we know that this back down does not signal the end of this Government’s attacks on Medicare.

“Both the Prime Minister and Health Minister have confirmed that increasing the cost of visiting the GP remains their policy.

“The only way to defeat the GP Tax and save Medicare is to get rid of the Abbott Government.

“Only Labor will protect Medicare.

“Only Labor will stand against Tony Abbott’s attempts to push up health costs for people already under financial pressure,” Terri Butler said.

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