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Medicare net may go under ALP

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by fLIP, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. fLIP

    fLIP UFO Hunter

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    LABOR is refusing to commit to the $1 billion Medicare Safety Net that helps 1.5 million pregnant women and chronically ill patients pay their health bills.

    The ALP pledged to abolish the safety net scheme at the last federal election.

    Opposition health spokeswoman Nicola Roxon three times refused to answer when asked by The Daily Telegraph whether her party would now maintain the scheme.

    "It's, along with a number of other things under consideration and will be, I'm sure, dealt with closer to the election," Ms Roxon said.

    "Certainly there will be further announcements made between now and the election."

    In 2004 Labor planned to scrap the safety net and use the $1.3 billion savings to fund its Medicare Gold policy that would have provided free hospital care for the over-75s.

    Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd has yet to detail how he would fund last week's pledge to increase hospital funding by $2 billion but he said Labor had identified $3 billion in savings to pay for its policies so far.

    Scrapping or capping the safety net would be one way of helping pay for the hospitals promise.

    The Medicare Safety Net was introduced by the Howard Government in 2004 to help families cope with large out-of-pocket medical expenses.

    Once families spend more than $500 a year out of their own pocket on health costs Medicare will pay 80 per cent of their medical bills.
     
  2. Guest

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    Medicare is a basket case but the safety net was one of the best things about it.

    It is better to retain the safety net which would help young familes as well as those over 75.

    Not a very well thought out policy by the labour party.
     
  3. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Of course they wont commit to it. It is the downfall of every labour government, they want to keep it going but it messes with the economic status.

    Howard pretty much killed it off anyway
     
  4. fLIP

    fLIP UFO Hunter

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    We'll I'd be pretty ****ed without it.
     
  5. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Labor will get the blame but it isnt their fault!
     
  6. Fro

    Fro Well-Known Member

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    nothign ever is Dan :)
     
  7. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    The article is misleading in that this benefit is means tested. The criteria is:

    You qualify for the $519.50 Medicare Safety Net threshold if:

    * Your family qualifies for Family Tax Benefit Part A or,
    * You are covered by these Commonwealth Concession Cards:
    o a Health Care Card
    o a Pensioner Concession Card
    o a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.
     
  8. fLIP

    fLIP UFO Hunter

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    Well, there you go. Good for nothing bastards.

    I don't get any of that.
     
  9. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Deconstruct the article: (Remembering it is from that doyen of responsible journalism - The Daily Tele:)

    LABOR is refusing to commit - in other words someone asked a leading question and Labor did not answer.

    Opposition health spokeswoman Nicola Roxon three times refused to answer when asked by The Daily Telegraph whether her party would now maintain the scheme - she got asked three times.

    "It's, along with a number of other things under consideration and will be, I'm sure, dealt with closer to the election," Ms Roxon said. Labor will anounce their policy closer to the election.

    "Certainly there will be further announcements made between now and the election." In order words they don't want to say yet or it is not fully formulated.

    In 2004 Labor planned to scrap the safety net and use the $1.3 billion savings to fund its Medicare Gold policy that would have provided free hospital care for the over-75s. That was Latham and three years ago but it adds to the scare-mongering so it will be mentioned again.

    Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd has yet to detail how he would fund last week's pledge to increase hospital funding by $2 billion but he said Labor had identified $3 billion in savings to pay for its policies so far. Labor has still not yet announced its policy on hospitals.

    Scrapping or capping the safety net would be one way of helping pay for the hospitals promise. Speculation as they haven't announced anything but it aids the article so it is worth throwing in.

    The Medicare Safety Net was introduced by the Howard Government in 2004 to help families cope with large out-of-pocket medical expenses. They are a lovely Govt giving all those sick people money.

    Once families spend more than $500 a year out of their own pocket on health costs Medicare will pay 80 per cent of their medical bills.

    Story basically reads that Labor has yet to announce its hospital policy but the scare tactic is that it could hurt those who least can afford to be hurt. Creative journalism at its best. Maybe it should be added to Wikipedia.
     
  10. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    That's the current situation, yeah?
     
  11. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    [quote author=Matabele

    That's the current situation, yeah?

    [/quote]


    I believe so
    http://www.health.gov.au/internet/wcms/publishing.nsf/Content/health-medicare-consumers-booklet1.htm
     
  12. Guest

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    That's the current situation, yeah?

    [/quote]

    Families can also qualify once their out of pocket medical expenses reaches over $1,000 in a calender year.
     
  13. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    Tookey is right but couples or families need to register.

    Extended Medicare Safety Net
    Under the extended Medicare Safety Net, families and individuals qualify for additional Medicare benefits if they accumulate out-of-pocket costs for Medicare eligible services provided outside hospital above the following thresholds:

    * families and singles covered by a Commonwealth concession card, or receiving
    Family Tax Benefit (FTB) (A), whose out-of-pocket, out-of-hospital expenses
    exceed $500 in the 2006 calendar year
    * other singles and families, whose out-of-pocket, out-of-hospital expenses
    exceed $1,000 in the 2006 calendar year.

    Once these thresholds are reached, Medicare pays 80% of the cost of further out-of-pocket Medicare services for the remainder of the calendar year.

    $280.6 million in Medicare Safety Net benefits (for both the original and the extended Medicare Safety Net) had been paid in the year ending 31 December 2005
    (Table 2), based on year of processing by Medicare Australia.

    Medicare Safety Net
    The extended Medicare Safety Net operates in conjunction with the original Medicare Safety Net. The original Medicare Safety Net covers the difference between Medicare benefits paid and the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) fee for out-of-hospital services. Once the difference between these two accumulate to a threshold of $345.50 (from 1 January 2006), Medicare benefits increase to 100 per cent of the schedule fee, rather than the standard Medicare benefit of 85 per cent of the schedule fee. Where the original Safety Net threshold of $345.50 is reached first, a patient will receive 100 per cent of the MBS fee, and any remaining out-of-pocket costs will continue to accumulate towards the extended Safety Net threshold relevant to their circumstances.
     
  14. Guest

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    The safety net certainly is saving us heaps this year because we have had a lot of hospital bills which make it hard for a family of 4.

    Any out of pocket expenses not covered by Medicare can then be claimed on your tax return and you get a further 20% back on this amount (or so i have been told).
     
  15. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Basically correct Tookey - I thought iit was $1500 for a family. Can be helpful - but being forced to have Health Insurance to avoid tax and the whole dog's breakfast that industry is, is not so great.
     
  16. The Gronk

    The Gronk Well-Known Member

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    If they put the money that goes into the 30% rebate for health insurance premiums (which was a huge waste of money because premiums just went straight back up) into medicare then you wouldn't need the safety net in the first place because medicare would work.
     
  17. clontaago

    clontaago Well-Known Member

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    Where does Private Health Insurance come into it? I am not quite up to speed on how this all works, If you have private health cover does the saftey net mean anything to you?
     

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