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The order of the day having been read for the resumption of the debate on the question—That the Bill be now read a second time—And on the amendment moved thereto by Mr S. F. Smith, viz.—That all words after "That" be omitted with a view to substituting the following words: "whilst not opposing the Bill, the House condemns the Government for its health policy failures, including:

(a) the Howard Government's withdrawal of $918 million from public hospitals over the next four years;

(b) the Howard Government's unfair Medicare package which will result in bulk billing, in time, only being available to pensioners and concession card holders and families being left to pay more and more for their health care;

(c) the Howard Government's decision to increase the cost of essential medicines by up to 30%, hitting the sickest and the poorest hardest; and

(d) the Howard Government's refusal to review the $2.3 billion private health insurance rebate to ensure that it provides value for money for consumers and taxpayers"—

Debate resumed.


Ms Worth (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing), by leave, presented the following paper:

Preserving choice: A defence of public support for private health care funding in Australia—Report prepared by Harper Associates, April 2003.

Debate continued.

Question—That the words proposed to be omitted stand part of the question—put.

The House divided (the Deputy Speaker, Mr Jenkins, in the Chair)—

AYES, 77

Mr AbbottMr DuttonDr KempMr Secker
Mr K. J. AndrewsMrs ElsonMr P. E. KingMr Slipper
Mr AnthonyMr EntschMrs LeyMr A. D. H. Smith
Fran BaileyMr FarmerMr LindsayMr Somlyay
Mr BairdMr Forrest*Mr LloydDr Southcott
Mr BaldwinMrs GallusMr McArthur*Dr Stone
Mr BarresiMs GambaroMr McGauranMr C. P. Thompson
Mr BartlettMrs GashMrs MayMr Ticehurst
Mr BillsonMr GeorgiouMrs MoylanMr Tollner
Mrs B. K. BishopMr HaaseMr NairnMr Truss
Ms J. I. BishopMr HardgraveDr NelsonMr Tuckey
Mr BroughMr HartsuykerMr NevilleMrs D. S. Vale
Mr CadmanMr HawkerMs PanopoulosMr Wakelin
Mr CameronMr HockeyMr PearceDr Washer
Mr CausleyMrs HullMr ProsserMr Williams
Mr CharlesMr HuntMr PyneMr Windsor
Mr CioboMr JohnsonMr RandallMs Worth
Mr CostelloMr JullMr Ruddock
Mr DownerMrs D. M. KellyMr Schultz
Mrs DraperJackie KellyMr Scott

NOES, 60

Mr AdamsMr L. D. T. FergusonDr LawrenceMr Ripoll
Mr AlbaneseMr M. J. FergusonMs LivermoreMs Roxon
Mr BeazleyMr FitzgibbonMs J. S. McFarlaneMr Rudd
Mr BevisMs GeorgeMs MacklinMr Sawford
Mr BreretonMr GibbonsMr McLeayMr Sciacca
Ms BurkeMs GillardMr McMullanMr Sercombe
Mr ByrneMs GriersonMr MelhamMr Sidebottom
Ms CorcoranMr GriffinMr MossfieldMr S. F. Smith
Mr CoxMs HallMr MurphyMr Snowdon
Mrs CrosioMr HattonMs O'ByrneMr Swan
Mr Danby*Mrs IrwinMr B. P. O'ConnorMr Tanner
Mr EdwardsMs JacksonMr G. M. O'ConnorMr K. J. Thomson
Ms EllisMr KerrMr OrganMs Vamvakinou
Mr EmersonMs C. F. KingMs PlibersekMr Wilkie
Mr EvansMr LathamMr Quick*Mr Zahra

* Tellers

And so it was resolved in the affirmative.

Question—That the Bill be now read a second time—put and passed—Bill read a second time.

Message from the Governor-General

Message No. 135, 13 May 2003, from His Excellency the Governor-General was announced recommending an appropriation for the purposes of the Bill.

Leave granted for third reading to be moved forthwith.

On the motion of Ms Worth, the Bill was read a third time.