Peter Martin explains that a lot of the government's claimed "savings" from their new policy comes from some quite dramatic changes to the rebate to doctors:
Part of the trick is that it isn't the co-payment that saves the government money, it's the cut to the Medicare rebate. That cut was always going to be $5 per consultation. If doctors had had the ability to charge a $7 co-payment they would have got an extra $2 in theirThat sounds a huge difference to me, and (I would have thought) both guarantees the end of practices that bulk bill everyone, and lead to significant extra payments to make up for lost revenue from the re-jigging of the rebates. I mean, will a GP seeing 6 sick kids in a hour really take $102 for the pleasure?
pockets. Now they won't.
Another part of the trick is that the government will now cut some rebates by much more. Standard so-called Level B consultations of up to 10 minutes currently attract a $37.05 rebate. Under the changes they will classified as Level A and attract $16.95 for the young and
concession holders and $11.95 everyone else.
And the two-year freeze on Medicare rebates that was going to extend to June 2016 will
now become a four-year freeze, extending to June 2018.