Health: Australia, Scott Morrison, and Universal Health Care

The Story:

Scott Morrison, the prime minister of Australia, denied on Monday, April 25 charges that, if re-elected next month, his government will make cuts in that country’s universal healthcare system.  


The present government of Australia is run by the Liberal-National Coalition in the country’s House and Senate. This is a combination of parties (the two most significant of which are unsurprisingly the Liberals and the National Party) that have a collective center of gravity to the right of the political spectrum.  

The opposition is the Labor Party, to the left of center. The Labor Party sees the preservation of the system of universal health care as a critical difference between it and the Coalition. Labor now has 68 seats in the House of Representatives, where 76 is the smallest number necessary for an outright majority.

Anthony Albanese is at present the leader of Labor. He plainly hopes that charging that the coalition is weak on the preservation of universal coverage will help gain some more Labor seats in the May 21 vote.

The Thing to Know: 

There is no significant constituency in Australia for a movement toward anything less than universal coverage. Accordingly, the coalition’s leadership is bound to deny that accusation when made. It cannot say “yes we do believe that the present system is unsustainable and we will be putting forward a plan after the election to shrink it,” even though at least some members of its leadership do apparently believe the former and would like to plan for the latter.


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