In the same budget giving a free pass to coal pollution and big mining, the Abbott government is trying to balance their books by charging Australians for getting sick.
The Government was reportedly making moves to hit us with a $6 “Sick Tax” whenever we visit our GP. But we’ve just learned that Abbott’s business-led Commission of Audit is recommending a GP-fee as high as $15.1
Make no mistake, whether it’s $6 or $15, this Sick Tax is the first step away from a universal Medicare system to be proud of, towards an American-style healthcare system that preys on the sick, the injured, and the vulnerable.
But Mr Abbott recently said of pre-budget proposals that we can’t assume “any one of them is going to be adopted.”2 So there’s still time to influence key decision-makers with a huge groundswell of opposition to this shameful Sick Tax. Will you sign the petition and stand up for free, accessible Medicare for all Australians?
Charging people for falling ill would be the end of Medicare as we know it. And even concession holders won’t be spared, with seniors, students, people with a disability all to be hit with a $5 fee under the Commission’s recommendations.
GetUp member Jade said it best: “Being Australian is not about kicking someone while they’re down!” There are better ways to save money in our health system, like negotiating lower prices for medicines or encouraging the use of less expensive, generic pharmaceuticals.
Worst of all? Mr Abbott’s Sick Tax will likely cost our system more than it saves as it drives people away from cheaper preventative care from their GP, and towards more expensive hospital care as untreated illnesses become more severe.
It’s an idea straight from a private healthcare industry think tank (longtime enemies of Medicare).3 The Government’s heard from industry lobbyists – now it’s time they hear from us. Join the fight to protect Medicare and let our politicians know that Australians will not stand for profit-driven, US-style healthcare.
Stand with us to keep Medicare world-class and accessible for all,
Mark, for the GetUp team
 Commission of Audit recommends cradle-to-grave cuts in report released by Federal Government, ABC News, 1 May 2014
 Tony Abbott interview with Neil Mitchell, Radio 3AW, 29 April 2014
 The end of Medicare as we know it, ABC News, 6 January 2014