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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

dental reform, finally « Previous | |Next »
August 30, 2012

The $4 billion dental care scheme targeted at low and middle income people is an excellent idea and long overdue. The government will provide Medicare funded dental services to children and an expanded public dental service for low-income adults and those in rural and regional areas, as well as an additional investment in dental infrastructure and workforce.

It is good public health policy as it is preventative and maintenance oral care in the community, even though it depends upon there being a private provider being willing to offer services in one's area at a price one can afford.


Outside health policy circles the reaction was more along the lines of the Gillard Government being on a spending spree, budget surpluses being blown out of the water, and the budget surplus for 2012-13 being a mirage.

The gigantic budget black hole scenario gives little acknowledgement of the Gillard Government making spending cuts in low priority areas to cover the budget surplus that is under pressure.

In the longer term there is the cost of the new higher priority programs ( the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which is expected to require an extra $10.5 billion a year within six years, the $4 billion dental care scheme, and the $5 billion a year for education recommended by the Gonski schools review) in the context of a mining boom that is winding down.

The argument is that China’s economic boom is showing signs of cooling, potentially torpedoing the federal government’s revenue projections. Iron ore prices, a main ­generator of government revenue, have tumbled below the level forecast by Treasury. The inference is that the days of the large surpluses being delivered by buoyant tax receipts are behind us and that the tax system will be unable to cope with new spending promises.

The political inference is the lack of fiscal discipline means new taxes to cover the budget deficit. That is, the Gillard Government is firmly in the tradition of big spending, high taxing Labor governments. They are bad economic managers--the familiar right wing riff.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:18 AM | | Comments (4)


It’s very good to see a significant investment in teeth

The new dental reform package is to be broadly welcomed

The introduction of the new dental reform package is certainly to be welcomed.

welcome and long overdue

It is a good move, but ....

This is great ...

A selection, with a bias towards the positive, of comments from the reaction of health groups and experts, as collected in an informative article at Crikey [yes Virginia, such does exist].

But, more needs to be done, as the title to the collection says.
Nevertheless this is where the focus should be, on the health of a nation.
Not on the confected pedantry of media pundits whose viewpoint is that anything is too good for the Australian people and automatically a waste of money.

Ha, see the dentist and the nurse extracting the eye-tooth from neoliberalism for a necessary reform of the real sort.
Very "incisive" 'toon, one for the mean-spirited to molar over.

The Gillard Government has an immediate problem with its 2012-13 budget surplus due to the blowout in the budget for the current year – fed by the $2 billion cost of changes to asylum-seeker policy, an expected fall-off in company tax receipts and soft mining tax receipts.

We can expect the razor gang to impose an efficiency dividend on the commonwealth departments to keep the budget in surplus.

Treasury is saying that Australia has a long term budget problem given a cooling Chinese economy plus falling commodity prices and the long term increase in government expenditure --eg., dental care, the national disability insurance scheme and education reforms.