INDEPENDENT NEWS

King Ignorant Of Community Card Savings

Published: Thu 26 Apr 2001 03:26 PM
Annette King's statement that the 48,000 low income families who now aren't eligible for the community services card are only missing out on $30 or $45 a year shows her blatant ignorance of the huge savings it means for struggling families, National's Health spokesman Roger Sowry said today.
"Annette King should know that adults who pay full doctor's fees are paying an extra $15 dollars per visit, for children the subsidy for those on a community services card is $20 or $32.50.
"It only takes a handful of doctors' visits for each member of a non-qualifying low income family of four to amass $300 in doctor's fees. Conservative estimates would put the additional cost for the family at at least $245, but a family of five with a very sick child could be paying another $385 on top of that.
"This huge difference doesn't even include the savings on prescription costs. Community Service Card holders pay $3 for a prescription. Low income families on the same income as beneficiaries will pay $20 or more for the same prescription.
"For Annette King to be so dismissive about the large savings the card means for beneficiaries and low income families, the people this Government purports to support, is just bizarre.
"If people on community services cards are only saving the tiny amount on health services that she claims then why has this Government continued to keep the card?
"This Government has already identified that people earning lower incomes have the highest incidences of health problems. It is most unfair to then turn around and disadvantage those working on a low income by not allowing them to have a community services card when beneficiaries on the same income do," Mr Sowry said.
Ends

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