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Health care - good video, all 8 minutes of it


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Australia's newly elected federal government which is clearly an incarnation of the Republican Party being led by a Prime Minister intent on challenging Sarah Palin for gross ignorance if not stupidity, is attempting to align us with the U.S. system for health care. You know, the one which makes the rich richer, the poor bankrupt, and the lawyers into ambulance chasers.

I have no medical insurance because there is no way I can afford the premiums on the Australia aged pension. This is not a problem from a medical care point of view. Whilst I might have to wait for non-urgent treatment, any serious and imminent threat to my health will be treated immediately and with no sacrifice in quality of care. Already this year I have had CT scans of various parts of my body, blood profiles and my fortnightly INR test...all without any cost to me. My medications cost me $5.90 each, and at some point will become free if they accumulate to $1000 (I think that's the cut-off figure.) At least the pension is for life, except that it is means tested so that if I work, my pension is reduced according to a schedule listed under our Centrelink government agency (our social security.)

The Centrelink schedule also recognises same sex relations and if you live together you'll be considered as a de facto couple, (no questions asked) -the same as a de facto heterosexual couple. We don't have same sex marriage yet. What this means is that our relationship will be a component in the means test for my pension, and as my partner is working my pension is halved because of the amount that he earns. Our Sarah Palin clone of a prime minister is intent on lowering the pension and increasing the amount of patient contributions to our health costs. This is thought to be a prelude to a more U.S. style of social security, but already, even members of his own party are criticizing his plans. We'll know more shortly as the yearly budget is due to be handed down this coming week.

The Government is claiming that they can't afford the cost of this system, so it will be interesting to see how long they mange to stay in power given the burden they want to place on the public. The people are already, not happy!

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