Health a winner for now

There is overwhelming support for the report, although at least one respondent sent me an email saying that they didn't know enough to express an opinion. More of that later. From this table the most popular measures are the Commonwealth funding all general health, rather than the states; the electronic health record; and the dental scheme (labelled Denticare). The least approved was the idea of competitive Medicare providers and the idea of chronically ill, young families, and indigenous patients having one general practice to go to.

So the biggest approval was for a shifting of funding arrangements rather than a fundamental change in those arrangements. That, and better record keeping.

At this point let's look at the issue of whether respondents really knew enough to answer the questions. The graph below plots the distribution of what people would pay for Denticare, versus earnings. I asked them to nominate a figure which was based on 0.75% of our income bands. I chose this figure because the proposal is that 0.75% be added to our Medicare levy to fund this scheme. So the graph compares what people are prepared to pay with what the report's recommendations say they should pay. In each case it is just the distribution of each and it doesn't mean that those who earn most were inclined to pay proportionately less of their income than those of middle income. I looked at mathematical correlations and there was no correlation between income and propensity to pay.


However, what the graph does show is that there is a huge mismatch. More people want to pay nothing than there are people in the top income distribution. I looked at averages across the samples. Because of the way the last question was framed I can't do an accurate mathematical analysis, but on average it appears that the majority of people would be prepared to pay around $250 p.a. for this service.

So, once the costs and practicalities filter out voters may view these recommendations less favourably. In the meantime, the government seems to be on a winner.

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