In a report commissioned by the Senate Select Committee on Medicare, Hal Swerissen, Stephen Duckett and Charles Livingstone assess the federal government's proposed reforms to bulk billing, and the opposition's counter-proposals.
Their analysis of both proposals is predicated on the notion that GPs will seek to increase their incomes. The government's proposal provides additional government expenditure for this purpose and protects concessional patients, but it also makes it easier for GPs to raise their incomes through increased patient contributions. The opposition package relies on increased public sector expenditure to meet the same goal, while maintaining current administrative constraints on gap fees. The relatively higher level of government expenditure outlined in the opposition proposals reflect this difference.