State Government Control of Health
- Medicare: Controlled by a "Council of State Health Ministers".
- Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme (PBS): Controlled as per above.
- Denticare: Essential dental care added to Medicare.
- Public Hospitals: As they are now.
- Health Centres: As they are now.
- Veterans and ADF medical facilities: Merged into regular health services.
- Aged Care: Fully State controlled.
Why the States should control health
- All health and related care should be controlled by one level of government to minimize "buck passing" and bureaucracy between governments. (Some buck passing could still occur between State governments, but this would be minimal.)
- Abolishing the States will never get support of a majority of voters in every State.
- Given the above, some responsibilities need to be allocated to States.
- Health Care is a responsibility which fits better at the State level than the Federal level.
We also recommend that education should be fully State controlled.
Remaining Federal Responsibilities
- Funding: Under
NewAustralia'sproposed split of responsibilities (See Republic page) all taxation is controlled by the Federal Government. Therefore the Federal Government would have to pay the States to support all health and related services. This would include federal funding currently spent on funding the Private Health Insurance subsidy, Medicare, the PBS, Aged Care, Veterans Services and any other health-related activity. (Whether the states continue to support the Private Health Insurance subsidy would be up to them.)
- Setting Overall Principles: The Federal Government would ensure that the health funding was used to provide a universal health care system including dental and ambulance care.
Note that the above changes could be made without constitutional changes. Constitutional change would however set such changes in stone.
Junk Food Control
New regulations are required to curb the consumption of food rich in saturated fats, sugar and/or salt. The current obesity crisis is primarily caused by the over supply of bad 'food' made worse by lack of exercise. Little progress is likely to be made in fighting obesity while the supply of junk food continues.
Spending on Weight Loss:
The average Australian spends $34 a year.
Spending on Junk Food:
The average Australian spends $586 a year.
TheAge. 31 May 2009.
Obesity panel pushes junk tax
27th Feb 2013: A panel of nutritionists, doctors and health economists recommends a junk food tax.
PHIR should be scrapped
8th Feb 2012: Ross Gittins talks about why the Public Health Insurance Rebate should be scrapped.
Sugar as bad as tobacco
2nd Feb 2012: Health experts call for tighter controls on sugar as the obesity crisis rolls on.
Traffic Lights Fail
8th Mar 2011: Traffic light labelling had no impact on food bought online from a major supermarket chain, a study has shown. more...
Health credit card idea
15th Dec 2010: Pay now with health credit card, pay later in instalments for any out-of-pocket expenses. (Jennifer Doggett ) more...
$26 Billion Cost of Alcohol
24th Aug 2010: Police and doctors groups say a report showing the massive human toll, and $36 billion annual cost, from alcohol misuse is a wake-up call for government and the Australian community. more...
Labor fails to tackle junk
13th May 2010: 'Obesity was recently found to trigger more diseases in Australia than tobacco, but the government has given the thumbs-down to the call from its preventative health taskforce for a ban on junk-food advertising before 9pm.' more...
Hospital reform spin
10th Mar 2010: 'The $50 billion reform package ''is largely spin'', said John Deeble, the co-architect of Medicare.' more...
Safety Net for the Rich
24th Feb 2010: 'The Medicare Safety net is great - for the well off. The poor are missing out.'. more...
Salt: White Death
3rd Feb 2010: Calls to limit salt content of food, as per our policy. more...
Health Credit Card
22nd Jul 2009: Ross Gittin's excellent idea of health-system credit card to pay all medical bills. Health authorities would then bill you for any 'gap' payments monthly. more...
Radical surgery needed
23rd Jun 2009: "Eliminating private health funds would reduce costs." - Nick Renton. more...
Rich profit from sick system
18th Jun 2009: "It's time to end the wasteful private health rebate, which has not eased the burden on public hospitals.". - John Watson. more...
Boom for Burgers & Diets
30th Apr 2009: Two industries thriving in the recession are inextricably linked - fast food and weight loss...Nutritionist Jenny O'Dea was flabbergasted by the projected growth of weight-loss products. "If people really wanted to lose weight they should close their gob and go for a walk".
Scrap health rebate (cont)
30th Apr 2009: Latest analysis from Ken Davidson on this subject.
Scrap health rebate
24th Feb 2009: "The private health insurance rebate paid to millions of Australians is "very poor policy" and should be dumped, according to a confidential briefing to Treasurer Wayne Swan." - Leo Shanahan.
17th Feb 2009: "Health minister cool on federal control
proposal" Health Minister Nicola Roxon described proposals by the National Health and
Hospitals Reform Commission as ambitious. They include an option to scrap Medicare and have 14
per cent of wages go to private health funds, which would provide care for patients. more...
Private Health Lies
26th Sep 2008: "The billions spent by the Government to prop up
private funds would almost certainly be better spent on direct support to the public health
system. The 30%-plus insurance rebate alone will cost $3.5 billion this year, according to the
budget papers." - Charles Livingstone. more...
Obesity Cost: $58 Billion
22nd Aug 2008: "THE cost of Australia's obesity crisis has
soared to $58 billion a year as workplaces, hospitals and taxpayers bear the burden of the
nation's growing weight." more...