Tagged with Medicare

The elite drool from every orifice

Doug Cameron, the colourful national secretary of the AMWU, at the ALP national conference this morning (via Crikey):

The elite drool from every orifice at the thought of a free trade deal with the US. The Premiers are even worse. I reckon there’s some Pavlovian science going on here.

It’s one of the better lines from Labor’s annual talkfest/scragfight. Julia Gillard was very much in her element waving about a leaked memo sent by the government to the pointy heads at Medicare state offices, warning that if the national health system’s 20th birthday is to be celebrated with a cake, government MPs must not be photographed sticking the knife in:

What this email is telling us, as clearly as any other action by the Howard Government, is Australians know when a conservative politician, when John Howard or Tony Abbott get anywhere near Medicare and they’ve got a knife in their hand, they’ve only got one purpose and that is to destroy Medicare by chopping it up. (ABC News)

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Medicare, Medicine and the Mad Monk

Tony Abbott

The federal government’s chief head-kicker, Tony “the Mad Monk” Abbott, is our new health minister.

I’d like to feign surprise at this unlikely appointment, but it’s been on the cards a while. Abbott knows bugger-all about the health system, but he does know how to stay on message, something his kinder, gentler predecessor couldn’t quite get the hang of. And with health policy being the one area in which the Liberals trail the ALP, something had to give.

Howard’s reshuffle on Monday afternoon intensifies the smell of an early election in the air. While the Poisonous Dwarf and other election tragics insist that there won’t – can’t – be an election before the second half of 2004, if Howard could call one today he would. The sooner the better.

Whenever the election is held, Abbott’s appointment signals what many of us dread: the health election. The short man has spent his whole life trying to achieve just a few small goals. The GST was one of them. Winning “the cultural wars” was one of them. Ending Australia’s pro-refugee and pro-Asia immigration policy was one of them. And destroying Medicare is one of them. Continue reading

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