Senate debates

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Questions without Notice


2:49 pm

Photo of Concetta Fierravanti-WellsConcetta Fierravanti-Wells (NSW, Liberal Party, Minister for International Development and the Pacific) Share this | Hansard source

I thank Senator Bushby for the question. Yes, the Turnbull government is concerned to see that all Australians have access to quality, affordable health care. We have moved to guarantee Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. The Medicare guarantee includes legislation to ensure their long-term, sustainable funding through the establishment of a Medicare Guarantee Fund, with funds to be paid every year to meet the costs of Medicare and the PBS before the budget. Funding will include both the Medicare levy, which covers approximately half the cost, and additional funds required from income tax. This provides transparency for all Australians on what Medicare costs and how it is funded.

The Medicare guarantee proves that the coalition has a rock-solid commitment to ensuring that all Australians have access to high-quality health care. Compare that with Labor's record on Medicare. Labor invested an average of $17.7 billion into Medicare during their six years in government, compared to the coalition's investment of $23 billion in Medicare this year, increasing to $26 billion in 2019-20. But what really showed Labor's callousness at the last election was 'Mediscare': false Medicare cards; ringing up little old ladies in the middle of the night, lying to them—shame on you!—scaring them into thinking that Medicare would be cut. That lying is continuing today with the opposition's campaign in Bennelong and the lies that Bill Shorten and Kristina Keneally are continuing to peddle about Medicare.


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