Friday, October 01, 2004

Medicare Gold and all that

It was an amibitious pitch from Latham for the grey vote at the Labor launch on Wednesday. The central plan - free hospital care for those over 75, and branded as Medicare Gold (presumably Medicare Silver or Medicare Blue-rinse failed in the focus-group stage) - is likely to win support not just for the oldies who will benefit under it, but also their families, carers and those with private insurance who can look forward to their premiums reducing.

It does seem like a gift to the private health insurance sector; the insurers have just seen the 'competition' poach their least profitable and most undesirable customers. For the scheme to work, Latham will need to make sure that the regulator ensures savings are passed onto the consumers, otherwise it will be a great big windfall for the insurers.

Hmmm, so with just 8 days to go, how will Howard respond to Latham's play for his voters?

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