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Thread: Capping Medicare Saftey Net for IVF/ART

  1. #55

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    I borrowed bits from the letters the other BB members had provided (thanks gals) and added my own twist. All sent off now.


  2. #56

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    hopefully it wont happen.

    BG- yes thats a good point

  3. #57

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    I only found out about this late yesterday but I sent my emails off right away. Took me only 15mins or so and I feel like I actually helped by doing it.

    I just borrowed from others letters too and added a bit about if we couldnt afford to do it we would be another couple who dont produce enough employed offspring to counteract the cost of our old age on the communtiy. It's not just now that it effects people but it would be a long lasting effect on the community. Imagine if the 11000 ivf babies born each year were not?!!!

    Thanks for bringing this up. I dont subscribe to emails from my ivf clinic or access and I wouldnt have known about it till it was too late otherwise!

    Hope we can all do our bit and make a difference. That is what a democracy is about

  4. #58

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    I think the letters are working - or at least getting attention - I've been googling (I can't tell you how little of my real job I've done this week, but it's been a great distraction from the TWW). I found that this issue has been raised on all the other Aussie baby forums and people are writing letters.

    I also found a few articles:

    Cancer patients may lose subsidies from Medicare Safety Net | Herald Sun

    Cancer patients may lose subsidies from Medicare Safety Net | The Courier-Mail

    I hope there are more. Of course, I've also found comments (in the very small minority how people agree IVF should not be funded or that parameters - age, reason for fertility, number of tries - should be put around IVF). I just don't agree - we all pay taxes - and my DH & I pay a fortune in taxes - and we deserve the benefits. DH & I are excluded from everything by the government - usually, I don't begrudge it as I (as an American) think it's wonderful that the government here actually provides for people who need it - until now....I can see this healthcare system - which is fantastic compared to the States - turning into one that looks so much more like the US system - where only the truly wealthy can afford IVF or where people mortgage their house to the max and max credit card debt - that would be a disaster and a huge step backwards.

    There's a facebook group as well:
    Help save IVF funding in Australia!!! | Facebook

    I finally emailed some close friends to ask them to write. I was very reluctant to do so as we don't really talk about ivf with them (they know we are doing it, but day-to-day we don't discuss or mention where we are in the cycles as DH is SOOOO private). I wish I could email a wider audience, but DH would be so upset if I were to let the whole world know we are doing ivf. I don't feel the same as him in terms of keeping it so private but I have to respect his view

  5. #59

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    my mum can be a serious PITA sometimes, but when i told her what was going on yesterday, she went into activist mode. she wrote a really lovely letter (which i'll get her to forward to me) and emailed all the pollies and papers as i mentioned yesterday

    she just got a phone call from the Courier Mail in Qld (we're in VIc) - they're considering publishing her letter tomorrow - noice! i'm impressed! there is no guarantee, but we're going to get my aunt to get a copy of the paper to see if it appears. she's written from a grandparents POV, not someone directly impacted - and they are looking to publish it!

    GO MUM!

  6. #60

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    Thank you Buliej for the draft letter, most helpful with my brain a little sluggish today! I haven't posted for a while, but pop in to see how it's all going. Friday night was a frustrating time in our house when DH came home having seen the headlines in the paper and started searching the net for more info.

    This whole experience is frustrating and at times very unpleasant, but to have something else hanging over our heads...someone else determining which direction our life will take...it's so unfair. Sometimes you get your head around whatever stage/situation you're in, then something comes along and winds you.

    In some ways I lead a charmed life, a supportive, loving DH, a lovely home, friends and family...but there's a gap, and all we're trying to do is fill it - it's not easy, it's not cheap but we're trying. To think that the option of IVF may be taken off the table for so many people is frightening. Let's hope and pray this doesn't get passed.

  7. #61

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    Airline - I've been searching for articles in the papers and really haven't seen much - what did you DH read? We have today's papers and I've gone through one - not a mention - will see if The Age mentions anything.

    Fingers-crossed that the letter and emails make a difference!

  8. #62

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    Oh yay for your Mum BG! Can you link us to the letter if it gets published do you think?

  9. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by sazzafrazz View Post
    Oh yay for your Mum BG! Can you link us to the letter if it gets published do you think?
    sazz - we're not sure if it got published, being election day in Qld yesterday, but my aunt is going to post down the paper. here is the email she sent though

    To whom it may concern

    My daughter is a wonderful woman who has so much love to give a child. For her and her husband it has been a struggle to get through and they are the lucky ones who are now expecting a baby in late May. However they were not able to conceive naturally. My daughter has had to go repeatedly through invasive proocedures to get something that comes so naturally to many women. She suffered so much but did not regret it. Thank god that at the time, she was able to get assistance in paying for these procedures with the Medicare rebate. They would not have been able to proceed without this rebate and our beautiful longed for new grandchild would not be on the way.

    I am writing to you now to ask for your assistance. Please fight for a woman?s right to be a mum, make them retain this rebate. There are so many couples like my daughter who are so suited to be parents. They struggle to put a home together, they are subjected to uneducated people who don?t know what they are going through, they work 2 jobs to get money together to start IVF, in many cases they have hundreds of kilometres to travel to have the procedures performed and all because they want a baby.

    Please stop the Government from removing the Medicare rebate for these couples. Let them be the loving parents that they want to be. Show people that you care.

    A Granma in waiting.

  10. #64

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    Buliej, below is what DH read from Courier Mail on Thursday night. I also found a scathing article by Piers Akerman on 21 March called Labour Party Sells Out. There's a lot of negative comments on Kevin Rudd and Labor, but towards the end they specify IVF, cancer patients and the Medicare Safety Net. (I went onto The Courier Mail website and just typed IVF in search box)

    CANCER patients and couples struggling to have a family could lose taxpayer-funded subsidies under a plan to means-test the Medicare Safety Net.

    The controversial overhaul of health funding is being considered by the Federal Government's razor gang in a desperate bid to slash spending in a looming horror May Budget.

    Amid growing speculation about the cuts, Queensland doctors and cancer, heart and IVF patients throughout Australia have launched a campaign urging Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his Cabinet not to proceed.

    What do you think about the planned cuts?
    Have your say

    Taxpayers spend $319 million each year on the Medicare Safety Net, which is meant to help people with large medical bills.

    Under the scheme, taxpayers can claim 80 per cent of their out-of-pocket medical expenses once they have spent $1111 in a year for a range of doctor visits and tests, including specialist consultations, ultrasounds, pap smears, blood tests, CT scans and X-rays.

    But figures show more than half the money handed out goes straight to obstetricians and gynaecologists, with the scheme growing seven times faster than the inflation rate in 2007.

    Health Minister Nicola Roxon yesterday refused to confirm or deny that the Government would means-test the Medicare Safety Net or remove the eligibility of some services under it.

    But the lobbying is believed to be frustrating Mr Rudd's chief-of-staff Alister Jordan, whose staff have asked the IVF lobby group Access Australia to stop emailing him about their concerns.

    Access Australia spokeswoman Sandra Dill -- who argues cutting the safety net would allow only the rich to receive IVF services -- said someone from Mr Jordan's staff yesterday rang to advise of the overflowing email correspondence and suggested that her members should write letters instead.

  11. #65

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    Default Heres my two bob's worth

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I am writing to express my concerns over the possibility of the Medicare Safety Net becoming means tested. My concerns lie in the exclusion of IVF as an eligibile medical procedure. The Governement have recently introduced the means tested Baby Bonus, a bonus to increase the Australian population to assist with the ageing one. This is all well and good for the fertile population of Australia (approximately 85%). What percentage of these are receiving Parenting Payment Single (PPS)? What percentage of these are receiving PPS year after year, and have muliple children knowing full well that if PPS didn?t exist they could not financially support these children, but however can rest assurred that in Australia they?l be right because the Government will support them for no matter how many babies they decide to have, there is no limit.

    Why all of a sudden would the Government be considering it fair for those whom have struggled for years and incurred numerous medical costs in each of those years such as: GP fees, blood tests, Gynocologist/Obsetrician fees, Endocronologists and other associated specialists, Psychologists, Naturopaths, Accupunturists, costs of medicines, herbal treatments and supplements, hospital procedures and out patient proceudres, all funded by their hard earned taxable income, and minimul support from their private health funds and medicare. Sorry 15% of Australians, although you will be able to support your family (when and if ) you have one financially, emotionally, and physically without depending on the Governement handouts such as PPS and Baby Bonus, but screw you ? you lose. You can continue to pay your taxes and 100% of your medical fees and the Governement will just look after the ones that are fertile. That?s discrimination.

  12. #66

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  13. #67

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    These are great. I love how they are each different so that they touch on all the issues. I am so proud of us (and BG's mum and our other loved ones who care enough to write on our behalf).

  14. #68

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    I work in the health field. And Im digusted in the govt even contemplating this.

    How about scrapping the baby bonus first.

    How about scrapping free needles for heroin uses which may I remind people is ILLEGAL.

    How about scrapping methadone.

    sincerely
    redlady

  15. #69

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    Taking IVF out of the medicare safety net has been put put forward by the pollies previously and people power has ensured it did not get up so keep those letters rolling in girls.
    The annoying thing about it, is as the article quoted says
    But figures show more than half the money handed out goes straight to obstetricians and gynaecologists, with the scheme growing seven times faster than the inflation rate in 2007.
    This rise is because obsetricians have put their fees up, way above inflation over the last 3 years in particular and IVF fees have also got ridiculously high. In my opinion, the government should be looking at whether there is justification for these fee rises. After all, us IVFers are not putting the money in OUR pockets, it is the medicos that pocket the money. OK, IVF is being used more but fees have gone up waaay too much.

  16. #70

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    Default I received 1 reply!!!!

    The letters are being read! I received the below reply this morning. Keep the letter writing up!

    _________
    Dear Julie



    Thank you for writing to me about plans that Mr Rudd has to restrict access to the Medicare Safety Net in the upcoming Federal Budget.



    Prior to the 2007 Federal Election, Labor gave an unambiguous commitment that it would not change the Medicare Safety Net.



    My colleague the Hon Peter Dutton MP, Shadow Minister for Health, is handling the matter on behalf of the Coalition. He has my full support to make sure the Labor Government does not break its promise on this issue.



    Yours sincerely



    Peter Costello

  17. #71

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    I got the same reply - way to go girls/boys!

    xxBella

  18. #72

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    Thank you so much Julie for the draft letter, you are a gem, I've sent an email to our local MP and all other contacts last weekend....feel like I am contributing sth...and hope we will have the power to stop it...

    BG, great letter from mum, I have tears in my eyes when reading it...I am so proud of us, everyone...

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