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chuboy 22nd Oct 2014 02:21


Originally Posted by rh200 (Post 8707797)
What is the forward projection costs for Medicare and education again?

What is forward projection costs of NOT having Medicare and education?

Two sides to everything as you say.

MTOW 22nd Oct 2014 04:15

chuboy, what many have been pointing out amid the glowing accolades some are affording Gough Whitlam is that the education and medical systems that were put in place by the Menzies government in the 1950s were quite probably superior - and certainly more affordable - than the administration-and-top-heavy schemes put in to replace them by the Whitlam government.

The many who rabbit on about how they could not have afforded to go to university but for Gough conveniently ignore the excellent Commonwealth Scholarships that were available to those who scored a high enough mark to gain them. Many working class children gained a university education through that scheme, and the bond system, where the graduate repaid his or her FREE education by working for two years wherever the government sent them, provided an ongoing leavening of new blood into every small country town annually, some of whom stayed on if they married a local (as many a junior school teacher or doctor did).

The medical system was the same. Rich people went to their doctor of choice. The not so rich and the poor lined up at the hospital and were treated, sometimes by the very same doctors who tended to the rich. It was a pain in the arse having to wait in line for treatment - but it was of the same quality as the rich people got (well, maybe not always), and it was free.

Whitlam threw all that out and replaced both with unaffordable top-heavy bureaucratic systems that future governments (and Labor ones at that) simply had to rein in.

bosnich71 22nd Oct 2014 04:20

MTOW .......Working class children once had the chance to go to a grammar school in U.K; if they passed the 11 plus, but good old Labour, you know the party of the workers, threw that opportunity out didn't they ?

CoodaShooda 22nd Oct 2014 04:24


What is forward projection costs of NOT having Medicare and education?
OK. I give up. What's the answer, chuboy?

Pre-Whitlam, I paid a small, affordable amount towards private health insurance and had most of my expenses covered.

These days, a percentage of my income goes to Medicare, I still pay top cover for private medical insurance and I still have to cover the gap between Medicare/Insurance and the fees charged by the medical profession.

A short consult with my local GP sees me $53.30 out of pocket each time.

It ended up costing us several tens of $thousands out of pocket for my wife's cancer treatment a few years back, because we chose to go private.

We could have saved heaps by going with public health but the extra time on the waiting list and the less experienced medical support would have probably turned her 35% chance of recovery into a terminal condition.

So where's the benefit of Medicare for me?

PS I have no problem with making a contribution towards the support of those in our society who genuinely need it. But when families can get into the third or fourth generation of full time unemployment, my philanthropic instincts become a bit blunted.

In my observation, Whitlam tapped into the streams running through society at the time. He was there at the right time to benefit from the desire for change.

We were already well on the way to pulling out of Vietnam; national service was no longer a strong priority; womens' rights were making gains in all of western society; there was bipartisan support for greater recognition of the aboriginal community; Europe and the Yanks were already connecting with China.......So the things he's praised for would probably have happened regardless of who was in the chair - although possibly in different forms.

As I see it, his real claim to fame is in making the ALP electable. Just about everything else he touched has turned to shit. Poorly designed, poorly implemented and full of unintended consequences. (There is probably an argument here that Rudd/Gillard were too busy venerating his mythos to learn from his mistakes. Or were they just a case of history repeating?)

So, as a direct result of Gough's actions, our economy was set back decades, the standard of living for remote aboriginals declined significantly, PNG is definitely not the place it once was and the East Timorese had to put up with years of Indonesian rule.

Gough was our first Rock Star politician. He was new. He was exciting. He showed us what he and his supporting band had to offer.......and we quickly chose Malcolm Fraser over him.

That last, little point should define the reality of his ability as a Prime Minister and the performance of his Government.

John Kerr did him a favour by making him a martyr and granting him a place in history as a victim rather than an incompetent.

Buster Hyman 22nd Oct 2014 05:03

Cooda ^^^^ :D:D:D

Kodachrome 22nd Oct 2014 05:22

It's all very well to say well the medical system worked before medicare and wasn't THAT expensive, but we could have well ended up with the health care system that the US has (ie f***ed). On the balance of things, we're pretty doing pretty well with health care in Australia. There are DEFINITELY things that could be done better, but you're never going to get a perfect system.

For those amongst us with a sense of humour:
http://www.theshovel.com.au/2014/10/...-free-for-all/

Takan Inchovit 22nd Oct 2014 05:23

... ^^. What Cooda said.

Pinky the pilot 22nd Oct 2014 05:40


What Cooda said.
Likewise.:ok:

chuboy 22nd Oct 2014 05:53


Originally Posted by CoodaShooda (Post 8708121)
OK. I give up. What's the answer, chuboy?

The answer is not "subsidised education and healthcare is a bad thing". Like all good ideas the implementation is what makes makes or breaks it - yes our current system is bloated but that doesn't mean universal healthcare is a bad system. Time and time again good ideas become bad ones because politicians make compromises and it ends up half-arsed, Medicare is simply a high-profile example.


Pre-Whitlam, I paid a small, affordable amount towards private health insurance and had most of my expenses covered.
You were fortunate that you had income to spare and didn't accrue many expenses that weren't covered.


These days, a percentage of my income goes to Medicare, I still pay top cover for private medical insurance and I still have to cover the gap between Medicare/Insurance and the fees charged by the medical profession.

It ended up costing us several tens of $thousands out of pocket for my wife's cancer treatment a few years back, because we chose to go private.

We could have saved heaps by going with public health but the extra time on the waiting list and the less experienced medical support would have probably turned her 35% chance of recovery into a terminal condition.

Top cover private health insurance is something you choose to pay for! You can't complain about the extra (considerable) expense over and above the Medicare levy because your standard of healthcare is no better. You just get creature comforts like waking up out of surgery in your own personal room instead of sharing a ward with other plebs. Oh and the satisfaction of no-gap visits to the dentist or aromatherapist/chiropractor/witch doctor, subject to annual limits of course.

I can't understand how you can justify complaining about a huge cancer treatment expense that you admit you chose to pay. What's more, the fact that you had to pay such a large gap despite being privately insured is an excellent argument against the US-style system where we must rely on the goodwill of businesses to pay sometimes extortionate medical expenses.


A short consult with my local GP sees me $53.30 out of pocket each time.
I pay $70 with bulk-billed follow ups. If I wanted, I could see a bulk-billing doctor and pay nothing at all.


So where's the benefit of Medicare for me?
You choose not to avail of the direct benefits, but there are loads of indirect benefits to you - such as a banking sector that doesn't have to deal with people forced to declare bankruptcy over an unexpected medical expense.


PS I have no problem with making a contribution towards the support of those in our society who genuinely need it. But when families can get into the third or fourth generation of full time unemployment, my philanthropic instincts become a bit blunted.
The full-time-unemployment bludging family straw man is a tired punching bag. Like welfare bills, most of the Medicare payments issued by the government go to old people who start taking more PBS medicines and getting more diagnostic scans as they age. It's not the 20-year-old parents smoking away their Newstart allowance who are making the system unsustainable. The system is creaking because of all the people who were young adults when Whitlam first introduced universal healthcare.


The medical system was the same. Rich people went to their doctor of choice. The not so rich and the poor lined up at the hospital and were treated, sometimes by the very same doctors who tended to the rich. It was a pain in the arse having to wait in line for treatment - but it was of the same quality as the rich people got (well, maybe not always), and it was free.
Sounds wonderful :eek:

CoodaShooda 22nd Oct 2014 06:29


You were fortunate that you had income to spare and didn't accrue many expenses that weren't covered.
My salary was $87/fortnight after tax. I was taught it was my responsibility to look after myself.


I can't understand how you can justify complaining about a huge cancer treatment expense that you admit you chose to pay
You confuse "observation" with "complaint". The justification for being thankful I went private on this occasion is that, because our "free" health care system has become unsustainable, going public would have seen my wife succumb to cancer five years ago. So my choice was "pay the money and my wife might live" or "go public and I'm probably just up for funeral expenses".
What would you choose?


I pay $70 with bulk-billed follow ups.
You apparently don't live in Darwin.


such as a banking sector that doesn't have to deal with people forced to declare bankruptcy over an unexpected medical expense.
Oh joy! How do the numbers compare with the number of SME's that fail because of the compliance costs of doing business in the over-governed country that is post-Whitlam Australia?


The full-time-unemployment bludging family straw man is a tired punching bag.
I was referring to families living in remote areas who have lost almost everything, including their self-respect, through the curse of sit-down money. Another progressive socialist Whitlam labor policy. My anger here is directed at the governments that have allowed this situation to develop; not at the victims.

Ascend Charlie 22nd Oct 2014 07:46

Every person that I knew at school picked up a Comm Schol and went to uni for free. Anybody who didn't, got a Teachers College scholarship as a consolation prize. We were in the first run of the Wyndham scheme, leaving school after 1967.

My kids are saddled with massive HECS repayments. Things certainly are different now.

Andu 22nd Oct 2014 07:55

And the kids who weren't academically oriented left school after Year 10 and went into apprenticeships (remember them?) and had a trade qualification by the time they were 19 or 20.

I'll admit that things were by no means perfect pre Whitlam, (apprentice wages were little more than a ciggie allowance; [as shocking as this might be to some, but back then, most men, and certainly most teenagers, smoked]), but since most started their apprenticeship at around 16, most apprentices lived at home with the olds until they gained their trade certificate.

The Whitlam government went about re-inventing any number of wheels and designing any number of new, incredibly expensive mousetraps where the original wheels and mousetraps were doing a more than halfway decent job far more cheaply.

Worrals in the wilds 22nd Oct 2014 07:57

I agree with Kodachrome, and I think that the current government would love to implement that sort of system if they had the nerve. I do not agree with no questions asked welfare (and I respect Cooda's POV re the Northern Territory), but I believe we should all pay for Medicare (and an NDIS) through the tax system. I'm not actually a massive Gough fan, but I think Medibank was one of his government's standout achievements.

My kids are saddled with massive HECS repayments. Things certainly are different now.
And if Pyne gets his way they will get a whole lot worse. Nor are there any Commonwealth scholarships any more, and nor are there likely to be. Letting the sandstone institutions charge what they like will exclude them to everyone but the very rich or students in courses (such as engineering) that promise a high post graduate income. The country needs more scientists, nurses and other professionals, not fewer.

Pinky the pilot 22nd Oct 2014 09:42


The country needs more scientists, nurses and other professionals, not fewer.
Agree with that comment Worrals, but with reservations!

A number of people I grew up with entered the Nursing profession through the 'old' method of starting training in the local Hospital and progressing from there. None of them, and I stress NONE of them,:ooh: supported the University method of training done nowadays!

As for 'other professionals' in your post I assume that you may mean Tradespeople and there I agree wholeheartedly!:ok::ok:

However, the idea that Whitlam postulated and promoted, that kids should aim go to University instead rather than try for an apprenticeship in a trade has lead to the now severe shortage of tradespeople. I still remember quite clearly back in the mid and late 70's when the then Dunstan led state Government here in South Australia started closing State technical High Schools whilst parroting the Whitlam mantra that all should aspire to a Uni education. When warned by various organisations (and some Unions) of a future shortage of tradesmen (tradespeople:rolleyes:) the Government accused these organisations of scaremongering!

As for the standard of some coming out of Uni with various degrees etc; I still can hear a friend of my Late Father, who was a brilliant and successful Lawyer and now a senior Stipendiary Magistrate once referring to a crop of Uni Graduates he had the (mis)fortune of speaking to at some function as being 'nothing but a mob of educated f***wits!':eek::sad:

The last time I had a conversation with this Man, admittedly now quite some years ago, his opinion had not changed one iota!:hmm:

This rant fuelled by Shiraz. Aussie, of course!
Worrals, how are ya?

rh200 22nd Oct 2014 10:14


What is forward projection costs of NOT having Medicare and education?
Who knows, we will never know, there would just be some other type of system, of which there would still be medical and education, to what extent we will never know. We could only imagine with both sides of the debate obviously imagining the worst.:p


The country needs more scientists, nurses and other professionals, not fewer.
Scientists, hardly, depends what type, and I am one. Nurses absolutely, professionals, if it what I think you mean, hardly. More trades (I am one of them to) and vocational yes.

One of the most useless things the current system has given us, is the sense of entitlement and plethora of absolutely useless degree streams that have little relevance or use to our society.

A good society will always need a mix of people to do all kinds of work ranging from the menial too technical. Having degree qualified lollie pop holders, garbage truck drivers or latte makers, does nothing for us.

CoodaShooda 22nd Oct 2014 21:37

There are signs the uni's have achieved a saturated market for graduates.

Law is apparently now the hardest profession to get a start in. Way too many graduates for the positions available.

A friend (a former labor Chief Minister :p ) was telling me that it took over 12 months after graduation for a relative to win a job in Architecture. And he was the first from both his graduating class and the previous year's class to get a gig.

But at least the schools are teaching the next generation that God is spelled Gough. Did the ABC not realise the error in that female student's claim that Gough gave women the vote?

junior.VH-LFA 22nd Oct 2014 22:03

Yeah, the idea that industries are actually desperate for uni grads is BS. My girlfriend has just finished a Nursing degree, 80% of the graduates haven't been given a new grad job.

My girlfriend was lucky, and is now moving to Kempsy. There are hundres of disgrtunled RN's who can't find work.

Jeps 22nd Oct 2014 22:48

There's the oversupply problem and also the 'suitable candidate' problem. They all have the same piece of paper but what percentage of them would you employ? People involved in the process across many different industries generally tell me 10-15%.

Clare Prop 23rd Oct 2014 01:10

It seems the Canadian shooter was a muslim convert who had had his passport cancelled so he couldn't go and fight overseas.

PM: Ottawa 'terrorist' killed soldier 'in cold blood' - CNN.com

Why can't we just let these people who want to go leave and make sure they never ever come back? Surely forcing them to stay here isn't going to make them stop wanting to murder people, so they will just do it here instead and then no doubt have an army of hand wringers rushing to their taxpayer funded defence. :ugh:

Andu 23rd Oct 2014 01:20

Hospital trained nurses versus university trained nurses...

Now there's a can of worms guaranteed to excite high passion from both sides.

Most of the women in my immediate family are nurses (with one doctor thrown in). The ones of my generation went through the hospital system, with one of them getting her degree in mid-career. She's still working in a major Sydney hospital three days a week and if she was to write here giving her opinions of the product of the university nursing system, she'd probably be banned by the moderators.

My family has had the misfortune of needing to make use of the NSW public hospital system on three occasions in the last two years for relatively serious problems. I hasten to say that is use 'misfortune' in the sense that we were unfortunate to need the treatment and NOT in any way as a criticism of the treatment we received, which was excellent, as were almost all the staff we dealt with.

But enough of the accolades and let's get back to the griping, (which is what we do here, isn't it)? As in all too many areas since the 1970s (code for 'since Whitlam's "reforms"), academia has taken over where what I'll class as artisans/tradespeople once provided 'in house' specialized training.

Nursing was once the ticket out of a small country town for girls (until the 70s, it was predominately females who staffed the nursing profession). Parents who would never think of allowing their teenage daughter - (and let's face it, many of the teenage girls themselves) - to move to the Big City could let them go to the (at least perceived) safe option of a hospital nurses' quarters.

Many of these girls who did so were not necessarily Rhodes Scholar material. Indeed, many had not even completed high school. (A pass in Year 10 was enough to get into nursing.) But those same girls made excellent nurses. And today, too many of such girls cannot for any number of reasons complete the university training, either because they (or their parents) can't afford to go three years without earning a wage or because they don't qualify for entry to university.

Back then, they arrived in the Big Smoke and after completing their induction course (usually taking ~8 weeks, during which - incredibly - they received no pay), they were EMPLOYED, receiving a wage and a bed in a safe and semi-structured environment.

The vast majority would move out into a flat with fellow trainee nurses after the first year, but they'd been given that reassuring, (both for them and perhaps more importantly, their parents), safe option of the nurses' quarters while they found their feet in the Big Smoke.

By the time they graduated, four, (and eventually three) years later, they had four (or later three) years of HANDS ON experience with patients, supervised every day by usually hard-nosed graduates of the same system. Those who didn't like it or couldn't cut it dropped out, but very few of the ones who made it 'wearing the veil' - the mark of a qualified nursing sister, were not capable from Day One as a graduate of running a ward and supervising trainee nurses under them.

Contrast that 'product' with the university trained graduates of today. The vast majority of their training is conducted on a university campus. They see patients only when they do a short stint in a hospital towards the end of their training. (To be fair, some of the more committed do a lot more.) Many - too many - have no intention of ever continuing in nursing. They see the nursing degree as as an easy way of getting a degree - (the TER required to get in to a nursing degree is relatively low) - and once they have that degree, they move on to something far less demanding than looking after (errrkkk!) sick people. (You should hear my relative expounding on this topic!) Many consider themselves above and far too highly qualified to have to stoop to doing all that yukky stuff like tending to the not always pleasant tasks a traditional nurse once did. They think nursing is walking around with a clipboard in hand supervising lesser mortals and never getting their hands dirty. The modern registered nurse is a semi-doctor, and a new class, nurses' aides, do all the icky stuff.

In short, the academics have created a monster and a product that, while it might have a far deeper theoretical knowledge than the hospital trained nurse of yesteryear, it nowhere nearly as competent as that same hospital trained nurse of yesteryear.

Standing by to be thoroughly shot down in flames by someone equally passionate about the advantages of the new system.


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