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Leading Economist Calls For Unvaccinated Australians To Pay More For Medicare

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Leading Economist Calls For Unvaccinated Australians To Pay More For Medicare

A leading economist has called for a Medicare hike for unvaccinated Australians.

Saul Eslakewith said the increased rate for those people who have chosen not to get the coronavirus vaccine would help with the federal budget.

He explained that they should have to pay for their choices and the funds could also assist with the healthcare system.

"Non-vaccinated people could pay a higher Medicare levy in the same way as those who earn above a certain level have to pay more if they don't have private health," he said (via the Sydney Morning Herald).

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"If they choose not to be vaccinated that's their choice, but it imposes a higher burden on the medical system."

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

The tricky thing would be discerning between people who have chosen not to get vaccinated, those who are medically exempt and those who haven't been able to get their jab yet because of wait times (although that excuse would be running pretty thin by now).

Considering that more than 92 per cent of Aussies over the age of 16 have received their first jab, the money raised from the increased Medicare levy for the unvaxxed would be minimal.

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The independent economist explained how the measure could be one of a range of moves to help the budget and healthcare system.

However, it doesn't look like it has the support of the federal Treasurer.

Josh Frydenberg said: "Australia's vaccine rollout is voluntary and has been highly successful with more than 86 per cent of Australians getting both jabs to protect themselves, their families and their communities.

"The government's economic plan is focused on delivering lower taxes, more jobs and growing the economy to guarantee the essential services that Australians rely on and secure the recovery."

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Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

There was even a call earlier this year that Australia should follow in the footsteps of Singapore and ban unvaccinated people from accessing free medical services.

It came after former NSW Premier Bob Carr suggested it would let those who have refused the jab deal with the consequences of their actions.

Writing on Twitter, the former Labor Party and state leader said: "Follow Singapore and legislate no medical or hospital expenses to be reimbursed to people who are not vaccinated without medical justification and then contract Covid.

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"You ignored warnings and got the disease. You pay for your wilful stupidity, not the rest of us."

He added in a followup tweet: "For many this virus will be a death sentence.

"A pig-headed view that one has the perfect right to be unvaccinated without medical justification is a violation (potentially fatal) of the rights of others to life and health."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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