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Gillard Govt: health reform « Previous | |Next »
August 25, 2011

Credit where credit is due. The Gillard Government is currently besieged by the assaults around the Craig Thomson affair launched by the Coalition, which senses that an election is just around the corner. It is demanding an election right now. Apparently, the country is in crisis.

However, what is not being noticed is that the Gillard Government is a reforming government and that, in spite, of being on the electoral ropes, it is continuing with its programme of health reform.


The latest is the plain cigarette packaging legislation passed the House of Representatives in face of marked hostility from Australian tobacco industry that is controlled from London (British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco) and New York (Philip Morris) in order to to prevent similar measures from being introduced against its dangerous products in other countries.

The cigarette packs will now only show the death and disease that can come from smoking. Australia is actually taking a leadership role in global tobacco control, that is supported by the Coalition, in spite of the political donations it receives from Big Tobacco and the attacks launched by some of the ignorant crazies in the Coalition who claim that cigarettes are legal products and not harmful.

Other countries and other governments will now be encouraged by the Australian Government’s world-leading initiative to take on Big Tobacco's use of glamorous packaging as a way of advertising and promoting its products.

This highlights the importance of primary care ---a third of all cancers can actually be prevented through simple lifestyle choices like regular exercise, a healthy diet and quitting smoking.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 2:50 PM | | Comments (4)


The private health insurance rebate reforms is the next reform. The private health insurance industry does not stand on its own two feet. About $4 billion a year, 30 per cent of its revenue, is provided by the commonwealth government through premium rebates. The Liberals introduced the legislation to subsidize the private health insurance industry.

The private health insurance industry and its political allies say the reforms to means test the rebate for high income people---- singles earning more than $124,000 and couples earning over $248,000 --- will threaten the private health insurance industry, private hospitals and public hospitals.

Will the crossbench independents support the reforms? Will the Greens?

Many of those who smoke but want to quit have a mental health problem, most commonly depression.

" simple lifestyle choices like regular exercise, a healthy diet " are important with respect to cars--well, the regular exercise bit.

With respect to physical activity, cars lead to “inactive travel” for adults, and reduced walking or cycling to school among children and youth.This is a major contributor over past decades to inactive lifestyles.

I think I have previously linked to ABC's Radio National "Background Briefing" on the topic of plain packaging.
Anyway here it is again in case some missed it.
Of particular note is the role of the Institute of Public Affairs and their spokesperson, Tim Wilson, being blatantly exposed as telling less than the truth.
Transcript available.

Oh and again just in case you haven't read it, Oreskes and
someone else's book "The Merchants of Doubt" is a must read on the obfuscation tactics of the tobacco industry and the climate change deniers. If it's not in your local library ask them why not.