HEALTH INSURANCE AMENDMENT (MEDICARE SAFETY-NETS) BILL 2005 - Second Reading
Mr CADMAN (Mitchell) (6.48 p.m.)—I want to briefly reiterate the significance of the Health Insurance Amendment (Medicare Safety-nets) Bill 2005, which confirms the place in society of the Medicare safety net—a process which allows people to move with confidence into medical care and support. It was a commitment made during the last election campaign; it is in place.
The Australian Labor Party has no safety net policy. It has no policy to protect people who may make multiple uses of the Medicare system for medical treatment. The Australian Labor Party cannot understand that health costs for the underprivileged and those who struggle with chronic illness are things that need to be dealt with. The government is providing, for the first time, the level of commitment that it promised in the last election.
Through an aberration, and to get this matter introduced, a lower level for the concessions was set. The 2005 changes to the amount of the extended Medicare safety net thresholds go from $300 to $500 for concession card holders and families in receipt of family tax benefit A and from $700 to $1,000 for all other families and individuals. This is an important piece of legislation, and one of which I am proud, because it does look at the needs of people who have ongoing medical needs and who reach a threshold of expenditure where they need some support from government. The implementation of this legislation that the parliament is deciding on today will be a significant change that is beneficial to all Australians. (Time expired)
Author: The Hon Alan Cadman MP
Source: House Hansard - 5th September 2005
Release Date: 5 Sep 2005