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Federal election 2022: Labor launches ‘Mediscare’ attack campaign against Senator Anne Ruston

Labor has ramped up a “Mediscare” style attack campaign over Scott Morrison’s pick for Health Minister on week two of the campaign.

Anthony Albanese was in Brisbane today where he visited flood victims and doubled down on criticism over the PM’s announcement current Social Services Minister Anne Ruston will become Health Minister if he is re-elected.

The Opposition Leader has seized on comments Senator Ruston made in 2015 when she said Medicare was “not sustainable in the future without some change” after the then-Abbott Government had unsuccessfully attempted to introduce a GP co-payment.

“To suggest that the trajectory of the cost of this particular service, which Australians justifiably take for granted, is not a problem is extraordinarily naive,” she said at the time.

Anne Ruston and Scott Morrison
Camera IconScott Morrison: “Without a strong economy, you cannot make health decisions.” Credit: AAP

Mr Albanese claimed these comments were evidence the Government would cut health spending if re-elected.

“(She) has said that the current model is not sustainable …. if Scott Morrison is re-elected we can expect cuts to health, cuts to education, cuts to other essential services, because this is a Prime Minister who only defines action by what is in the short-term political interest,” he said.

The Prime Minister, however, said at his press conference in Perth that both he and Senator Ruston had ruled out cuts.

“I thought Anne Ruston, who I announced yesterday (as health minister) should we be successful at the election, said yesterday there would not be any cuts. And I would repeat that today,” he told reporters.

Anne Ruston (file image)
Camera IconAnne Ruston is expected to become the health minister if the coalition government is re-elected. Credit: AAP

Senator Ruston claimed it was a “desperate scare campaign by the Labor Party”.

“Medicare is sustainable. We have invested in new elements of Medicare like telehealth, because we have a strong economy,” she said.

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