Hon Judi Moylan

Judi Moylan Warns Pensioners and Elderly Will Suffer Thanks to Budget

Federal Member for Pearce, the Hon Judi Moylan MP has backed warnings from the Australian Medical Association that the elderly and sick will suffer due to the increase of the Medicare Levy surcharge threshold. AMA President, Dr Rosanna Capolingua, this week warned that private health insurance premiums are likely to rise by about five per cent as a result of measures in the Rudd Government’s first Budget. The predictions resulted from an Access Economics analysis of the Budget that was commissioned by the AMA, Health and the 2008-09 Federal Budget. The report found that changes in the private health insurance rebate and increases in the Medicare Levy surcharge threshold would spark an exodus of young, healthy people from private health insurance. Mrs Moylan said these changes would severely affect those most vulnerable within the community including pensioners, those with disability and people on fixed and low incomes. Financial pressures due to sharply rising rents and petrol, which is pushing up the price of all household expenditure, will force people to reconsider taking out private health insurance cover. “There may be differences of opinions about the number of people who will exit private health insurance, but there is no doubt that a large number of people will abandone it increasing insurance premiums for the most vulnerable,” Mrs Moylan said. “These increases are going to severely affect the sick and elderly who rely on the comfort and security that comes with private health insurance. This plus the Government’s decision to revoke the Seniors Card for many self-funded retirees is particularly harsh on those on fixed and low incomes.” Mrs Moylan also noted that there was little in the Budget to relieve people’s anxiety about how they will cope with the increases in the daily cost living and high cost of housing. “Although Mr Rudd’s announcement of $2 billion to improve housing affordability is welcome, it does not produce any tangible results in the short term and it is not clear that it will ever deliver the numbers of new homes or rental properties that the government claims,” Mrs Moylan said. Mrs Moylan said the plight of our community’s most vulnerable people, those on Aged and Disability Pensions, was virtually ignored in last week’s budget. “The most economically and socially vulnerable people do not have any discretionary income at all and the pension is falling short of meeting their basic needs. Pensioners are cutting back on the necessities of life, risking their health and wellbeing.”

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