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 7 HEALTH LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (MEDICARE AND PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE) BILL 2003

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: "the House rejects this Bill and the Government's so-called "A Fairer Medicare" package for the following reasons:

(1) it will create a two tiered user-pays health system under which Australian families will pay more for a visit to the doctor;

(2) it will lead in time to Medicare becoming a second-class safety net in which bulk billing is only available for pensioners and concession card holders;

(3) it will make it easier for those doctors who currently bulk bill Australian families to start charging them co-payments for the first time, and those doctors who are currently private billing to increase their fees;

and commends Labor's plan to save Medicare and restore bulk billing for Australians families"—

Debate resumed.

It being 2 p.m., the debate was interrupted in accordance with standing order 101A, and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour this day.