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John Passant

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September 2021



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Archive for 'Medicare'

Of course the Liberals won’t privatise Medicare

The real threat at the moment to Medicare is not privatisation. It is underfunding. Underfunding is the half way house on the way to privatisation and Labor by its failure to commit to restoring previously agreed $57 billion of funding is a key party to the long term destruction of Medicare.


One massive back down, but the fight to defend Medicare must continue

Let’s have demonstrations rather than forums across Australia to stop the $5 cut to standard Medicare rebates and the freezing of indexation of those rebates so that ordinary people can express their anger with this rotten government and its attacks on Medicare. This is a weak government. They have already suffered one major defeat in their long term attempts to smash Medicare. Let’s make sure they suffer more defeats. Let’s organise massive demonstrations on 8 February to defend Medicare.

The GP co-payment and the Goods and Services Tax – more than $60 to go to the doctor?

Let’s imagine a worst case scenario. It is 2018 and the GST has been extended to fresh food, health and education, and the Medicare rebate is frozen at $32.05. The standard AMA approved consultation fee has risen from the 2014 rate of $75 to $85 to cover increased costs. So here is a typical situation for a person on the average wage(about $78,000) and their family going to the doctor.

You see your doctor and because you are working you are charged $85. On top of that you have to pay ten percent GST, so you pay $85 plus $8.50, meaning you pay $93.50 just to go to the doctor. Under the 3 year freeze on the cut Medicare rebate you get back just $32.05. That simple ten or 15 minute trip to the doctor has cost you 0ver $60 ($61.45 to be precise).

Your wages haven’t kept pace with inflation and are falling rapidly in real terms.

You realise the cost so you don’t go to the doctor. You save yourself $60 but at what cost to the long term health of you or your family?

It isn’t the co-payment they are killing; it is Medicare

Make no mistake. The co-payment isn’t dead; it has just changed its spots. This government’s long term plan is to destroy Medicare and to move to a fully privatised health system. This $5 co-payment is the first step down that long path. We have to organise a serious fight to defend Medicare. Our trade unions and unionists, especially in the health sector and Department of Health, have the power to stop this government in its tracks. Let’s urge them to do so.

Sick kids and paying upfront

Will unions fight to defend Medicare?

A clear and decisive victory by our side in defence of Medicare could force the extreme neoliberals currently in government back into their lairs for a while.

Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January

A great big new tax on going to the doctor?

Capitalism is such a sick system today that it cannot provide free or even adequate health care to all those who need it. Right now our side should be shouting ‘Abbott, get your hands off Medicare’ and organising the fightback. We struck in 1976 to defend Medibank. We can do so again today to defend Medicare.

The story of Medicare in the US – demand Medicare for all

Today, millions go without care. We shouldn’t have to settle for compromises. That’s why our demand is Medicare for all.

Medicare sackings?

Is Medicare about to sack hundreds of its staff?