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More Howard lies on Medicare: joint statement by the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Simon Crean, MP and the Shadow Minister for Health, Julia Gillard MP.\n



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LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

JOINT STATEMENT BY

THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITON, THE HON SIMON CREAN MP, AND THE SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH, JULIA GILLARD MP

More Howard lies on Medicare

Today John Howard surpassed even his own usual level of hypocrisy when welcoming Medicare’s 20th Birthday. His press release started with the words:

“Today is the 20th anniversary of Medicare - our world-class public health system, which delivers universal health care for all Australians.”

But John Howard voted against the creation of Medicare 20 years ago today.

Look at what he’s said about Medicare over the last twenty years.

When he was Leader of the Opposition in the 1980s, he said that Medicare was a “miserable, cruel fraud”, a “scandal”, a “total and complete failure”, a “quagmire”, a “total disaster”, an “unmitigated disaster”, a “financial monster” and a “human nightmare”. He also said that Medicare had “raped the poor in this country.”

He threatened to “pull Medicare right apart” and to “get rid of the bulk-billing system”. And he said bulk billing was an “absolute rort”.

John Howard’s 1987 election commitment stated:

“Bulk billing will not be permitted for anyone except the pensioners and the disadvantaged. Doctors will be free to charge whatever fees they choose.”

And now he has appointed Tony Abbott, his chief attack dog, to deliver on that commitment.

John Howard says one thing today but his record speaks for itself.

1st October 2003