I want to say thank you to the thousands of people who joined me in standing up for Medicare. We all know that cutting Medicare is in the Liberals' DNA, and what we're showing is that Macquarie will not stand for it. More than 5,000 people signed my online petition or mailed back with a strong message to the Morrison government: don't mess with Medicare. At every stage of life—young adults, pregnant women, families with toddlers or teenagers, more mature people and the elderly—people get why Australia needs a strong Medicare system. It's a matter of fairness, so that the quality of care you receive is not based on your postcode and doesn't need your credit card.
Of course, the cost of funding Medicare is increasing every year; there are more people, an older population and more complex treatments. But individuals are contributing more to the cost of their care than they ever have. The data shows that out-of-pocket expenses for people in the Macquarie electorate have risen dramatically since the Liberals came to office. The amount people spend when they visit a GP has gone up by 35 per cent, and the out-of-pocket cost of a visit to a specialist has gone up by 43 per cent. The Liberals have cut Medicare, time and time again, through changes to Medicare items and six years of rebate indexation freezes. It's what they do whenever they think they can get away with it.