How much does #Austrlia ‘s #Medicare cost?
The Treasurer, Mr Hockey said on Channel Seven’s Sunrise program on 21 February 2014, that the cost of Medicare was going to soon rise from $65 billion a year to $75 billion a year. However, the official transcript later clarified this to include other federal health expenditure. Seeing Medicare in the context of these wider figures, it is evident the actual cost of Medicare is considerably lower.
According to Budget Paper no. 1 (2013–14) spending on Medicare for the current financial year is estimated to be $19.0 billion and is forecast to grow to $23.6 billion in 2016–17. Medicare is the fourth most expensive program after payments to the states, support for seniors (mainly the aged pension) and family tax benefits.
Expenditure on Medicare covers benefits paid for services listed in the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS), including GP visits, specialist consultations and operations in private hospitals.
Total Commonwealth expenditure on health services overall is estimated to be around $62 billion this financial year, growing to $75.4 billion in 2016–17.
Spending on medical services and benefits, which includes Medicare and the private health insurance rebate, as well as other medical payments made by the Commonwealth, is estimated to total $25.5 billion this year, rising to $30.5 billion in 2016–17.
Meanwhile, revenue from the Medicare levy—a 1.5% levy on taxable income—is estimated to total $10.3 billion in 2013–14, but is forecast to grow by nearly 60% to $16.2 billion in 2016–17. The levy is to be raised to 2% from July 2014, to help fund the NDIS, which accounts for some of this forecast growth. It should be noted that the Medicare levy only partially offsets the cost of Medicare; the remaining funds are drawn from taxation revenue.
Source: Parliamentary Library Blog