Co-payment support builds

The Coalition has given its clearest signal yet that the move may be pursued by the federal government, with an opinion piece in Tuesday's Australian Financial Review penned by WA Liberal senator Dean Smith describing opposition to a co-payment as “confected fury”.

He outlined his concerns about the long-term sustainability of Medicare spending in the face of increasing patient demand, and demanded a “different approach” to the nation’s fiscal challenge.

“If Labor's Bill Shorten wants to restore some respectability to the health scoreboard, he could do worse than to offer the hand of bipartisanship for reforms to Australia's health system. Why would Labor now oppose a co-payment which it originally implemented in 1991?” Senator Smith wrote.

The article comes despite Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews distancing the government from the co-payment proposal, which he dismissed as an attempt by