Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
9am with David and Kim -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) Going through IVF is a stressful

time for everyone involved and most

couples need to undergo multiple

treatments before they're

successful. It's a highly emotional

and expensive process and it's

about to become even more costly.

In the May Federal Budget, the

Government announced there will be

changes to the Medicare net. Nick

Xenophon joins us to discuss the

issue. Good morning. It's all over

the papers this morning. We should the papers this morning. We should

probably begin talking abwhat

they've called ute-Gate - is it an

Opposition tactic or something more

to it? The atmosphere here around

the corridors at Parliament House

is highly charneled. Pollies on

both sides want to be judge, jury

and executioner. We should allow

the Federal Police to do their jobs

and get to the truth of it and we

should lay off and let the

impartial experts do their job.

That puts my next question

completely out of bounds. Who do

you think will be the winner and

loser or winners and losers? I get

the feeling this will bow a long,

drawnout affair. There's the saying

a week is a long time in politics.

I think that until the inquiry is

handed by both the Federal Police

and the Auditor General are down

trbs will be a bit of a holding

pattern. It will be ugly in

Question Time today. If an MP has

fast-tracked a deal for a mate,

what should happen to that MP? If

someone gets special treatment,

then that' z 7W z w EE then that's not on. But I know

we've got a long way to go before

we see what's occur 2W * EE we see what's occurred. The

important, let the experts do their

job. It's easy to make an early, a

things. I quick judgment on these sorts of

thing;W EE

things. I think it's pretty

dangerous. There are people's

careers at stake. Obviously the

public servant that gave evidence

on Friday was under a lot of

pressure. What he has said raised a

lot of important questions that

need to be sorted out.. Let's see

if the email turns up. Why is if the email turns up. W EE if the email turns up. Why

if the email turns up. Why is

Nicola Roxon being quiet about what

we know will be changes? Why won't

she reveal what the changes will

be? Someone would say she's keeping

mum about it. I think it's the

worst form of penny-pinching here.

This is the same government that

splurged $21 billion on cash

handouts and I didn't have a

problem with that. I thought it was

the right thing to do. These IVF

changes will, are supposed to save

eff z z z yEE effect that $42 million, but it will have the

effect that for the thousands of

couples that are seeking IVF

treatment, it will price them out

of parenthood and I think that's

pretty cruel. I don't understand

why the Government is going down

this path. Where they've got their

advice? Why the bean counters in

Treasurer have said this is an easy

-- Treasury have said this is an

easy way to make easy way to make money. They easy wa 605 EE

haven't even decided what the

changes will be? They said they're

going to cut the Medicare safety

net for couples seeking IVF

treatment and it will save about

$42 million a year. They're going

after the specialists? They're

going after the patients by doing

that. I think there's been a lot of

misleading information put out by

the Government on this. They say

that one IVF specialist gets $4.5

million a year. They happen to million a year. They happen to have million a year. The= 8 7 EE

10 staff a laboratory, expensive

tests to pay for. It's nowhere tests to pay for. It's nowhere near

that figure. There are people

watching your program now who are

thinking of having kids, who don't

know that they could have a

fertility problem because one in

six couples have an infertility

problem. There are people who don't problem. There are people who

know this could be a problem for

them. But, when it is, it's very

traumatic and to require these traumatic and to require these

couples to pay more EE

couples to pay more, to price them

out of parenthood, I think is the

cruelest kind of budget cut. What's

the current cost and what's the

Medicare safety net as it stands?

It varies at the moment. Some

treatments cost between $3,000 and

$10,000 depending on the sort of

treatment. Usually there are two or

three cycles. The proposed three cycles. The proposed changes

will mean couples could will mean couples could be out of will mean co=8 r qw v2 EE

pocket up to XXX z EE pocket up to $3,000 at

pocket up to $3,000 at a time. We

do know that the Government wants

to take an axe to this program. The

consequence will be for the one in

six couples in this country that

have problems in conceiving, this have problems in conceiving, this

will be a very cruel blow. And the

consequence of it will be if you're

wealthy, you can afford to pay but

if you're not wealthy, the vast

majority of Australians will be

priced out of parenthood. And this

will just add to the stress. Let

parents who want to be parent get

on with it, rather than having to

worry about how they'll meet the

payments for it. Ju;zEE payments for it. Just because

you're wealthy doesn't mean you'll

" z y 7zW z 9rr6 9 EE be a better parent. It seems so

cruel. It is. I have a good working

relationship with Nicola Roxon. I

have a lot of time for her. I don't

know where this policy has come

from. I think it's a mistake. The from. I think it's a mistake. The

more people that know about it and

anyone who is thinking of becoming

a parent, this could happen to you.

The sheer statistics is one in six

couples have a problem conceiving.

That's right. The Government is

trying to eliminate doctors

charging excessive fees. Is there a

better way to go about this and do

you believe they are charning

excessive fees? Does the Government

have a right to go after them? If

anyone overcharges for any service,

whether it's doctors, lawyers,

whoever, then there should be firm

policies in place, penalties in

place. One thing the Government can

do that I've been pushing for and

others have been pushing for is to

have informed financial consent.

That's what the private health

insurers want. They say it will

save a lot of money. They know what

the treatment will cost. We don't have enough in form financial

consent at the moment. If you bring

the reform in, I think that will

sort out many of those operators

who aren't doing the right thing.

The evidence here isn't about

overcharging when it comes to

virbgs VF. It's expensive treatment,

-- IVF, it's expensive. It is

protracted. This is not something -- IVF, it's expensive. It is

that people do on a whim. That's

why I'll be speaking to - there's

an IVF expert from Melbourne who is

coming up to get this campaign, to

give it more impetus and a family

that have a gorgeous 2-year-old

daughter as a result of IVF

treatment. What price do you put on

that? I think the Government has

lost its priority. It's expected,

if it gets more expensive, that

couples will push for multiple egg

transfers. What's the impact of

that? I don't know if that's the

best form of medicine, when you

consider that presumably that could,

that could lead to muttple births.

There are all sorts of issues

relating to that and I'll speak to

the IVF expert later on this

morning and get a briefing from him

on that. That's the unintended

consequence you get when you're

talking about penny-pinching like

this. $42 million to give parents

peace of mind or would-be parents

peace of mind, compared to $21

billion in cash handouts - give it

a break. I think the Government has

it wrong here. We also know

statistically that mothers have a

better chance of carrying one

healthy baby at a time. So

potentially there's a whole lot

more trauma involved? Exactly. The

$4,500 for the average cost of a

treatment is less than what the

baby bonus has been. And less than

the maternity leave payments, which

I support, will be. The Government

has its priorities wrong. It's made

a bad call on this. Whether it's

the bean counters in Treasury that

have pushed for it, but it's time

for a U-turn. Perhaps we're putting

the cart before the horse here? And

pigs might fly. I don't think, it's

not going to happen. This will cost

parents a lot more. They need to

rethink it. Well said. We'll stay

on this one. Thank you. Pleasure. Shane Sha6 EE

Shane Delia will squish a pare in

to the region -- pear in to the

region normally