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7 responses to “So, how about that hospitals plan?”

  1. Sam

    State governments should just hand over hospitals to the commonwealth. Then all the grief they get on hospital waiting lists and the Dr Deaths would no longer be their problem, not to mention the ever rising costs.

  2. Corin

    Mark, look there might have been timing in the Abbott announcement to disrupt the health announcement, but I think, depending on how Abbott goes in the next couple of polls, it is a big enough announcement to constitute his Budget reply as well. What Abbott has done is shoot first in the election race and hope it’s a nuclear bomb … given the Budget in deep defacit, there is not a lot else for him for a long while. Well, except oppose … I think there is tendency to read into Abbott’s actions politics and Rudd’s governance (rather than politics). They are both politicians first and policy implementors second. I’m also not sure I agree that Abbott’s ‘paternalism’ undermines whether it is good policy or not. Frankly it is bad policy, but his motives are not the issue, the actual merits are. I think the polls are pretty tight right now and I’m not convinced health will be a federal boon if they can’t explain it. If they can’t explain it Rudd will look both impotent and incompetent on two big reforms – not a good look. The schools stuff is great politics and often good policy too.

  3. Ben Eltham

    Great post, Mark, I couldn’t agree more.

    Another interesting point I noticed tonight is that David Spears at Sky News is running hard on the question to Hockey and Abbott, “Can parents be assured that the Coalition won’t block their parental leave?”. It’s an interesting counter-point to Kerry O’Brien’s increasingly tired performance on the 7.30 Report, in which he basically accused Lindsay Tanner of not working hard enough to negotiate with Xenophon and Fielding (??!!!)

  4. patrickg

    Great links, all, Mark. Whilst in practice I _definitely_ agree with Menadue’s recommendation of de-politicising health (and everything else, lol) through the implementation of commissions, etc, in principle I find myself more conflicted.

    Evidence-based policy is great, but I think there are two – if not problems, then at least issues with commission-based structures:

    1) It would be naive in the extreme to assume that special interests wouldn’t find their ways onto or into commissions, or whatever format it takes. Anyone who has worked with government can attest to this.

    2) Accountability becomes an issue. Commissions are appointed, not elected. They cannot be voted in or out, there is little incentive to heed public opinion or desire.

    I realise the obverse of this is something like California; a referendum for everything and the ignorant votes that come from an un-informed and/or apathetic public. I am not proposing an answer, and I do believe in practice these structures are frequently better than the politicised alternative. However, I don’t think we should be so hasty to throw democratic principles to the side, however problematic they may be.

    This issue I think is one of the more interesting tensions in modern democracies.

  5. wilful

    I greatly suspect the net effect of these reforms if they were implemented would be SFA for the overwhelming majority of hospital visitors. Which is OK, hospitals are pretty well run already.

    By the way, advice to not believe everything you read in the Australian, offered on LP? Perhaps a mite superfluous?

  6. Nickws

    Abbott would oppose any referendum question that didn’t make room for his own particular federalise-it-all-and-appoint-local-boards policy, I think.

    I don’t know if Rudd is on a political winner with his national plan, but as he isn’t going off on any crazy tangents (need I even say what I’m referring to?) I don’t see him risking big with this. What’s the prospect of one little lost referendum on a safe question when your adversary is about to dare his own partyroom to roll him as a crazy apostate?

    Let’s just wait and see what happens in the world of Plausible Health & Social Problems after Abbottcare is given the arse. That’s when things will resume in all seriousness.

  7. John C

    Wilful.
    The Monckton is dangerous. You should only read between the flags.