HEAVY hitter Doug Cameron has travelled to the city to back Country Labor candidate David Ewings’ bid for the New England seat.
The Shadow Minister for Human Services joined Mr Ewings in Armidale on Friday, condemning the Coalition’s Medicare “privatisation” plan.
Mr Cameron said the Coalition’s plan for Medicare could result in patients paying more money to see their doctor.
“The government is seeking to privatise Australian Hearing, which is an iconic government service,” he said.
“[The government] have indicated that they are going to spend millions of dollars looking at privatising the Medicare payment services.
“Once you start privatising one area of Medicare, that’s the sign that they’re going to privatise Medicare itself.”
Mr Ewings said: “I’ve already doorknocked somewhere in the vicinity of 30 to 40 per cent of Armidale.
“The message that has been abundantly clear from voters is that they don’t want the Americanisation of Medicare.
“Labor will change the indexation which the Coalition has frozen, which is going to take about $925 million out of the Medicare system.”
But a spokesman for incumbent and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said the plan was “not about privatising Medicare”.
“This is part of our commitment to ensuring the Government embraces innovation and is agile and responsive to changes in the digital economy,” he said.
“The focus is on payments services, and how best this can be done with contemporary technology into the future.
“It does not include setting fees or rebates.
“Bulk-bulking rates continue to reach historic highs under the Coalition.”
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