Effect of the 2014-15 Budget $7 Gp Co-Payment on Australians Essay

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Australian Economic Issues | FEDERAL BUDGET 2014-15: $7 Medicare Co-payment | Alexandra Rose | Due date: 18 June 2014 Federal Budget 2014-15: $7 Medicare co-payment “The Medicare co-payment - perhaps the most difficult policy change in this budget.” –PM Tony Abbott The Abbott Liberal Government’s first Budget (2014-15) is an important step in getting Australia’s debt and deficit of $667 billion under control. The Australian Government is pursuing a goal of budget surpluses over the medium term so that the Government is not directly adding to Australia’s savings imbalance. The 2014-15 Budget supposedly takes the steps to put the growth in health spending on a sustainable path. Therefore, all Australians will need to make a contribution to the cost of their own healthcare. Whilst continuing to support the community’s most vulnerable, government spending must be targeted to those in need. To do this the government must make decisions on where to cut money and where it is better to invest taxation revenue. Australia has a growing demand for healthcare due to an aging population and therefore, health is a key spending area for government. Health spending is currently at 4.1% of GDP and without changes to Government policy, this percentage could rise to 7%, placing the Budget under increasing pressure. According to Federal Health Minister Peter Dutton, Australia has one of the best health systems in the world. However, for a population of 23 million, Australia provides 263 million free services a year. This has the potential to become unsustainable. With an aging population, personalised medicines for uncommon illnesses and cancers, increasing technology costs, brain diseases such as dementia as well as medical research, the Government has to ensure that Australia has the funds available. The system also

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