Is Medicare Dying

  1. With all the discussions on the news lately about the increasing gap between what doctors are charging and the medicare rebate it seems that the federal goverement is just quietly letting medicare die.

    I want to open this debate for all Australains to see what they think.
  2. Visit gwenith profile page

    About gwenith

    Joined: Jul '02; Posts: 10,261; Likes: 233
    icu nurse


  3. by   renerian
    Do you mean Medicare in the US?

  4. by   gwenith
    No we have medicare over here in Australia - it is the free medical system but in recent years the gap between what the doctors charge and what the goverement rebates is getting bigger. There is also a lot of cost shifting between the states and the federal goverment with the states carrying the costs of the free hospital system while the federal goverment (Canberra) pays for out of hospital medical care and pharmacy.
  5. by   renerian
    Oh we have the same issue here. The states are dying from the burden shift of medical care for our medicaid system. Medicaid is funded by the state and federal government. They estimate the medicare system which covers the elderly will be bancrupt by 2005. Medications are not covered under our benefit. The Medicaid program is covered for the young and disabled. All the states, all 50, are in horrible budget deficets. New taxes in Ohio to cover the costs.

  6. by   RN from OZ
    Yep Medi care is dying the slow death in the hopes that the public do not catch on untill it is too late.
    On the Central Coast where I am thers is no such thing as bulk billing....when they put up the refund from did the Drs put up there fee I pay $42 to see a GP and get $25 back from medicare...I feel like asking him why does he feel he is worth so much more than the set rate? $42 every 10min..I know they have their medical indemnity costs but really...we have the obstets guys up here charging $800 up front to cover the insurance to deliver bub as well as the $110 visit fee over and above private cover and medicare !
  7. by   gwenith
    We have another issue - lack of rebate centres. On the South side of Brisbane there is one main rebate centre - and the queue's to get your money back stretch for miles. (Well, quite long way anyway). I think the goverment is playing the "Make it difficult and they will go away". I know I have rather worn the cost of the $25 than spend half a day trying to get my money back.

    I know that medicare is costing the average taxpayer a lot and I know that we have to find a way around it but if they make it too expensive we will see a return to what it was like before medicare. A&E's so chockers that the staff can't move inside!!!
    Last edit by gwenith on Jul 2, '03
  8. by   renerian
    My last Dr. visit was 115........

  9. by   renerian
    We pay now a little over 1,000 a month for the health insurance we carry.....very expensive........

  10. by   Grace Oz
    $1,000 a month???!!!! Are you kidding??!!!....
    Is that for a whole family, or, the entire nation??!!!! Ubelievable!!!
    To my fellow Aussie colleagues... I always get bulk billed by almost EVERY GP, Specialist, Radiologist, you name it. How come / why??... I mention I'm a nurse! It works almost every time!
    Just goes to prove, they CAN do it if they so CHOOSE... bulk bill, that is! The public have been getting ripped off for years.How many people know to, or even DARE to negotiate the "Gap" with their Dr's, dentists etc? You'll never never know, if you never never....... ( sounds like a good idea for an advertisment!) LOL...
    My opinion is that the government is pushing more & more, for a "user pays" system. It's happened with state governments in many areas, and the federal government is transferring more & more responsibilities to the states. Then the state sells off to private enterprise & next you know..... jobs lost, wages cut, services reduced & on & on it goes.
    Here in SA, one of the major public hospitals was sold off to a private management company. It's gone downhill ever since!! And, yes, jobs were lost, services reduced, standards lowered.
    I think we'll most likely always have some form of public health in Australia, but sadly, not the excellent system we once enjoyed.
    And people are lining up at casualty departments all over the country for non urgent things already.More often than not, those same people are tended to in a basic manner, then sent off home with instructions to see their GP or, "come back another day"! Sadly, some people are being oversighted & in one particular case here in SA, a patient died! So,the decline has well & truly begun.
    I don't know the answers, I only know it doesn't pay to get sick!!....
  11. by   gwenith
    We discharge patients with only 5 days supply of drugs with the instructions to see thier GP's and get longer scripts within the 5 days. Just cost shifting really.
  12. by   renerian
    The 1,000 is for four people. Two kids/two adults. That is 50% of the premium. The company pays the other 50%.

  13. by   gwenith
    Ummm - we certaily pay less for health care cover - here is a link to one of our major health insurers, Remember that we get a rebate for having privvate health cover and that if you don't wnat provate health caover you are still aurotmatically covered for basic hospital care by paying the medicare levy. Everyone in Australia has acess to free hospitalisation private insurance just covers you for stay in private hospital that will get:-

    choice of your own doctor
    no waiting llists
    some fancy frills
    and the immunity from being told "if you don't like it go private" (just kidding)
    privelege of paying lots of extra bills

    And the federal goverment wonders why Australians will not take up provate health insurance...........
  14. by   pickledpepperRN
    In the US Medicare is only for those over 65 years of age or permanently disabled.
    80% of the cost of care is paid, but not medication costs.
    People purchase "MediGap" insurance plans. My husbands is $190.00 a month. There is a low cost prescription plan whereby we purchase his BP medications by mail.

    Work to keep what you need. Nurses should be able to influence politicians and voters so the healthcare of all Australians is protected.