Election campaign lesson #1: don't mess with Medicare

Labor’s 2016 'Mediscare' has entered political memory as a campaign tactic that almost changed the game in that election.


Using robocalls and text messages purporting to come from Medicare, government proposals to outsource management of back-office business became inflated into an all-out 'privatisation' of Medicare.

The hyperbole cut through because of a long history of Coalition hostility to Medicare as a universal health scheme.

The then-Turnbull government didn’t lose the election, but it became