ABC's Q & A was held in the auditorium of Panthers Leagues Club in the heartland of working-class Sydney on Monday night. It was packed with angry people furious with the cost-cutting measures introduced in the budget brought down by the conservatives last week, a budget that favours the rich and penalizes the sick, the old and the working poor.
Hockey was there to answer questions from the audience and proved beyond doubt, that he doesn't understand his own budget. He told Korey Gunnis who suffers from eight chronic illnesses that he wouldn't have to pay the $7 GP co-payment every time he went to the doctor. "Obviously you've got a number of chronic diseases......in that situation you are not affected by the co-payment."
Not true. It's only free once a year when the GP plans his patient's care for his chronic illnesses, every other visit he makes to the GP or to have a medical test that is ordered, would be subject to the $7 fee.
The same lack of understanding applies to the Prime Minister. Tony Abbott was asked on radio yesterday "If I am the average person going along to the doctor, what is the safety net on the $7 co-payment?" He replied "Well, it is 10 visits and then the standard bulk-billing arrangements apply."
Not true. His office later released a statement "The safety net of 10 visits only applies to concession card holders (pensioners) and people under the age of 16." And the stupidity gets worse, parents will have to pay $7 to vaccinate their baby.
The arrogance of Abbott and Hockey knows no bounds. They had no concept of how hard the $7 GP co-payment would impact on the sick, the old and struggling families and even more worrying, nobody in their elite group working on the budget knew either.
Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey deserve all the abuse they are getting from the public, they must pay for their stupidity. Hopefully it will continue until they admit their mistakes and change them. Not understanding how the $7 GP co-payment works is unforgivable.