Labor cuts cataract rebate
November 26, 2009
THE Labor Government has cut the Medicare rebate for cataract surgery for a third time in a month, in an ongoing spat with the Opposition-controlled Senate.
The Upper House today disallowed Labor's regulations reducing the refund from $624 to $340 - with the effect that no rebate is in place.
But today Health Minister Nicola Roxon announced she'd issue a revised regulation providing a $368 rebate.
"This (new $368) regulation will apply from today to ensure all patients undergoing cataract procedures will receive a rebate despite the opposition's irresponsible actions in the Senate yesterday,'' Ms Roxon said.
The INSANITY of the Socialist Labor Government of Australia
"The Government has been clear and consistent in its position on this measure and remains committed to reform in this area.''
But the Opposition says it's equally determined to disallow the reduced rebate again.
Opposition health spokesman Peter Dutton said the Coalition wants the rebate returned to $624 because the cuts "hurt patients''.
"We'll do that at the next sitting date (of the Senate),'' Mr Dutton said.
The Government initially cut the refund to $312, but that move was defeated by the Senate late last month.