Looks in detail at how the Howard government was elected on a promise to maintain Medicare, but has instead introduced a series of privatisation measures. Although the Liberal and National parties claim to support Medicare, they clearly favour a predominantly private system, while Labor continues to support an unspecified level of universality. Recent experiences suggest that emerging equity concerns, financial pressures and occasional crises will destabilise the present public-private mix and that the familiar political battle over the size of the two segments of the system will continue.
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