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Latham continues to mislead on country health.

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MEDIA RELEASE The Hon John Anderson MP Deputy Prime Minister Minister for Transport and Regional Services Leader of The Nationals

29 August 2004 A99/2004


The Opposition Leader, Mark Latham, says he wants to win the nation's trust, yet he continues to mislead on comments made last week by the Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of The Nationals, John Anderson.

"If ever the Australian public needed proof that this is NOT a man to be trusted, Mr Latham's ongoing twisting of my comments on the value of private health insurance will cement that view in their minds," Mr Anderson said.

"Again, I place on the record my comments of August 23 on the subject of private health insurance."

JOURNALIST: Can I ask you a question on health? Mark Latham this morning said he wouldn't support the increase in the private health insurance rebate for country voters. Has he got an argument that perhaps the money's better spent on public hospitals, the public system?

ANDERSON: No, I don't believe he has an argument at all. I think country voters are very strongly supportive of the two-tiered system, and many people - and by no means all simply wealthy people - are members of private health, and you know maintain their private health, and believe very strongly in it.

"For the benefit of Mr Latham, his frontbenchers and candidates, I did not suggest that we should have a 'second class system', as they have put it. I made it clear that country voters support private health insurance on top of Medicare. If ever the ALP listened to rural and regional Australians, they would know this."

Media Contacts

Paul Chamberlin ( Minister Anderson's Office ) 0419 233 989