Commentary

Health’s vacuum at the top

6 Jun 2017
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Each federal budget is invariably followed by weeks, and sometimes months, in which policy analysts unearth the real benefits and costs of spending decisions. Too often, what they discover are flaws in the logic of new policies, a lack of appropriate modelling, evidence of cost-shifting and a dissonance between reality and the claimed impact. So it has proved this year for the health portfolio, despite the government’s headline claim that spending will be a net $3.8 billion higher over the years 2017–18 to 2020–21.

As the Financial Review’s Laura Tingle pointed out, the budget coverage suggested that the “do nothing” government suddenly seemed to be doing quite a lot in policy areas like Medicare, which is typically seen as a Labor strength. But, thanks partly to the damage wrought by Tony Abbott’s first budget and partly to the vacuum in policy-making and reform, this health budget seems designed to appease rather than to please, to maintain and support the current system rather than drive forward needed reforms…

Read the full article on Inside Story.

 

Publication Details
Publication Place: 
Melbourne
Language: 
English
License Type: 
All Rights Reserved
Published year only: 
2017
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