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Labor's plans to means test Medicare.

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Media Release

The Hon Tony Abbott MHR Minister for Health and Ageing

Labor's plans to means test Medicare The Labor Party has revealed it wants to means test Medicare.

23 March 2005 ABB027/05

The Labor Party has revealed it wants to means test Medicare.

Labor MP Craig Emerson has publicly said that Medicare should be means tested and self-funded retirees should pay for their health care.

Mr Emerson yesterday told the ABC: “It should be means tested. We can’t afford, in our society, to have so many older Australians having access to health care at zero cost, or very, very low cost.”

This is yet another extraordinary backflip from Labor after going to the election on a platform of free hospital care for people over the age of 75.

“Labor’s key election platform was Medicare Gold - free hospital care for everyone over 75 and barely five months later Labor is calling for the exact opposite of Medicare Gold. Labor now wants to charge older Australians for hospital visits,” Tony Abbott said.

“Craig Emerson has effectively killed Medicare Gold and universal health care, something Labor claimed it was so committed to during the election campaign. Labor has shown its true colours and now appears to be targeting self-funded retirees.”

“Self-funded retirees have made an enormous contribution throughout their working lives, many would already be making a contribution through private health insurance and now Labor wants them to pay for Medicare services. The Howard Government will not charge older Australians for their health care,” Mr Abbott said.

Medicare will remain a universal health care system for everyone, regardless of age or financial circumstance. The Howard Government will not means test Medicare.

Media Contact: Kate Miranda 0417 425 227