Number of Coalition MPs criticising the GP copayment grows


LABOR has urged the Abbott government to drop its planned $7 GP co-payment, after Coalition backbenchers urged new concessions for pensioners.

Three government MPs on Monday hit out at the co-payment, saying it should not apply to pensioners, or those born before 1956.

Among them, central Queensland MP George Christensen was most strident, urging the government to reassess it after getting "overwhelming" negative feedback about it.

Mr Christensen made the comments ahead of a "Tea with George" function he had organised for seniors in his electorate at a senior citizens centre in Mackay.

He was not alone in going public with his concerns, with a growing number of Coalition MPs speaking out, including Queensland Senator Ian Macdonald, who urged the co-payment be reviewed.

The co-payment, to be charged for every GP visit up to 10 a year, would not come into effect until July next year, but it still needs to pass the Senate where Palmer United Party senators are understood to be opposed.

Labor's health spokeswoman Catherine King capitalised on the public uprising on Monday, said amendments for pensioners were not enough, and it should be scrapped altogether.

"Families, low-income earners and all those Australians who rely on bulk billing must be spared this deeply unfair, regressive and outrageous attack on decent, affordable health care," she said.

Topics:  george christensen gp tax

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