by CPD fellows and Pushing our luck authors Jennifer Doggett and Ian McAuley…
In this article, Jennifer and Ian find health care funding to be one of few remaining areas of division between Australia’s two main political parties. The article compares the long-standing ideological battle between universal free healthcare and subsidised private insurance, to the Hundred Years War, exploring both the ‘left’ and ‘right’ positions over time.
Each side in the conflict has tried to hold ground, supported by strong beliefs. As is the case with so many long-enduring conflicts, the protagonists get bogged down into rigid ‘positions’. They lose sight of their original principles and objectives and therefore they lose sight of opportunities for solutions which may satisfy both sides’ principles.
The article goes on to propose a potential solution, wherein Medicare is redefined as a ‘genuine insurer (rather than a co-funder)’ of health services, so as to retain both the benefits of personal responsibility, and universality and equity within the public health system.