Over 700 petitions begging Neumann to save Medicare
TODAY'S election will see voters decide between affordable, quality health care and a strong Medicare, or more cuts and privatisation to the public health system.
That is the word from Blair MP Shayne Neumann and he received a petition in his office yesterday to prove it. Over 700 concerned locals from across the Ipswich region have written petition letters to the Mr Neumann, urging him to campaign against the Liberals cuts and freeze to the Medicare rebate.
The letters were delivered to the Blair electorate office from medical practices and GPs across the region, all signed by concerned patients facing the prospect of increased medical costs under the Liberals.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has made it clear that this federal election is a referendum on Medicare, while also decrying what he has termed Labor's Medicare scare campaign.
LNP Senator Barry O'Sullivan has told the QT there was "a freeze put on by the Labor Government in relation to some of the rebates that occur under Medicare" to highlight what he said was the hypocrisy of the ALP on this issue. But Mr Neumann said Mr Turnbull refused to answer when asked three times yesterday to rule out further cuts to bulk billing if he was re-elected.
Mr Neumann said Mr Turnbull misled voters about whether cuts had happened, which were already having an impact when Australians visit the doctor.
When asked 'Do you guarantee no more cuts to bulk billing?', Mr Turnbull replied "... there are no cuts to bulk billing. Mr Neumann said the Government's own budget papers show cuts of $2 billion through freezing Medicare payments for doctors' visits and another $650 million through cuts to bulk billing incentives for pathology and diagnostic imaging.