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Joe Hockey’s Lap Band Surgery to Medicare

20/05/2014

A video on how to cure all medical diseases (Pete Dutton and Joe Hockey style).

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Joe ‘over my dead body’ Hockey and his side kick Tony ‘lying king’ Abbott fear that medicare, like asylum seekers, is going to invade our borders and one day take up all the room on the M4 freeway.
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Hockey’s claim is this. Medicare is costing us too much money as people are living longer and then going too much to the doctor. The doctor then keeps people alive and this once again puts pressure on the medicare system. So offended by the fact that people are living longer, Hockey wants to rush to a retirement age of 70; the first nation in the world to have such a high retirement age. Hockey likes the idea of being first. This is not to be confused with being first to do something about climate change. That part of being first he hates.
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Leading upto the budget, Hockey attempted to sell his co payment as just that: a co payment. That people would be contributing MORE to the medicare pool with these copayments. But what the coalition say something before something, after that something, they end up saying something totally different.
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Turns out the $7 copayment is more like a $2 administrative fee for the doctor and a $5 donation to the Peter Costello retirement fund.
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Do not get me wrong here. Spending on medical research is a good idea. But don’t spend on research and cut from delivering medicine. What gets me is the future fund as it stands has 80bn dollars of money in its management. They spend in primarily three areas. Infrastructure. Education. And (drum roll), Health. In fact there are almost 20bn in health now under the future fund. But it seems ZERO goes to medical research. It seems to all go into private health care shares instead. What I don’t get is all the govt has to do is create a fourth investment strand in the current future fund and have it allocate say 3bn a year for 6 years (1bn from other investments a year) into a medical research strand. Now you got a 18bn research fund and you don’t have to ask people to pay more.
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But lets look at the ultimate result of this extra medicine spend. Clearly it is designed to help humans live longer. But wait! If we all live longer, does this not put a strain on medicare? Will this not lead to more calls to raise the retirement age? Oh I got an idea! Why don’t we raise the retirement age and try and milk a further medicare co payment. That should fix it.
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Life expectancy is going to get longer. But what I don’t get is the coalition’s attitude to this fact. Instead of rejoicing and trying to think of a way to utilise this growing asset (aging Australia), they talk about how much this is costing the budget. Instead of trying to change the thinking in the non disabled working world to allow them to be more accepting and open, they coalition take a stick to the disabled themselves.
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I had a conversation over twitter yesterday with a person with a disability. They told me they want to contribute to society as they are sick and tired of being a burden. This is not right. People with a disability are not a burden. They are people. They should not be made to feel like they should ‘contribute’, but they should be made to feel like any of us: have goals, have opportunities, and most importantly, be given the opportunity to go for their goals just like any other citizen.
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This idea that we can spend less on prevention of illness and it wont increase the cost of a untreated illness is absurd. As absurd as Hockey’s crocodile tears for asylum seekers.
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A. Ghebranious. May 2014

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