History lesson: a Medicare scare might not be fair, but it works

Elections Political campaigns Australian federal election 2016 Election campaigns Australian Labor Party Voting patterns Australia

Most Australians who take an interest in politics, at least those of a certain age, remember that John Hewson's policy in 1993 to introduce a 15 per cent GST lost him the unloseable election to Paul Keating. Except that is not quite right. There was another factor - health policy.

Hewson promised to abolish bulk billing except for pensioners and those with health care cards and disabilities. As well, the Medicare rebate for non-pensioners would be cut from 85 per cent to 75 per cent and higher income earners would be required to take out private health insurance or pay an income tax surcharge.

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