News Headlines Article

Is this the end of Medicare?

Medicare was always a dogfight. It became law in the most extraordinary circumstances: one of a handful of bills passed during the only joint sitting of Federal Parliament in the nation’s history, after the double dissolution election in 1974. As the Whitlam government prepared to introduce the system – then known as Medibank – its opponents rallied. The Australian Medical Association marshalled a million-dollar ”Freedom Fund”, donated by members. Determined to stop bureaucrats interfering with patients, it hired a former Miss Australia to front its publicity campaign.