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Covid-19 Australia: Unvaccinated should pay higher medicare fees lead economist argues

Calls for unvaccinated Australians to pay higher Medicare fees because they place more of a ‘burden on the medical system’

  • Lead economist called for unvaccinated residents to pay higher medicare fees
  • Saul Eslake said decision to not get vaccine placed burden on healthcare system
  • Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has dismissed calls to introduce a medicare levy 


Unvaccinated Australians without a medical exemption should be forced to pay higher medicare fees, according to a lead economist.

Independent economist Saul Eslake said people who chose to not get vaccinated were placing a burden on the healthcare system and it was only fair they foot the bill.

‘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.

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

Unvaccinated Australians without a medical exemption should be forced to pay higher medicare fees, according to a lead economist (pictured, demonstrations marching in a Melbourne rally to protest vaccine mandates)

Independent economist Saul Eslake said people who chose to not get vaccinated were placing a burden on the healthcare system and it was only fair they foot the bill (pictured, protestors rallying against mandatory vaccinations in Melbourne)

Independent economist Saul Eslake said people who chose to not get vaccinated were placing a burden on the healthcare system and it was only fair they foot the bill (pictured, protestors rallying against mandatory vaccinations in Melbourne)

Mr Eslake pointed out people are required to pay higher medical fees depending on their lifestyle choices. He argued the same rule should apply to the anti-vaxxers.

Grattan Institute health and aged care program director Stephen Duckett pointed out around 90 per cent of Covid-19 patients admitted to intensive care units were unvaccinated, Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Despite the high figures he rejected calls to implement a levy claiming the system was complicated and would not incentivise people to get the jab.

‘It’s too much of a complex system,’ he said.

Deloitte Access Economics’ Chris Richardson agreed that it would be a challenge to determine which of the unvaccinated people would be charged higher fees, as some had legitimate medical exemptions.

Head of the Health Economics Group at the Centre for Health Policy at the University of Melbourne Kim Dalziel said national vaccination rates were high enough so the unvaccinated were not a burden on the healthcare system. 

Some 92 per cent of Australians have received one dose of the vaccine with 87 per cent fully-vaccinated. 

'If they choose not to be vaccinated that's their choice, but it imposes a higher burden on the medical system,' Independent economist Saul Eslake said

‘If they choose not to be vaccinated that’s their choice, but it imposes a higher burden on the medical system,’ Independent economist Saul Eslake said

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has dismissed calls to introduce a levy. 

‘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,’ he said. 

‘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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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk