The airwaves have been overwhelmed today with lobby groups touting an addition to the Medicare levy to pay for the NDIS. There have been countless representatives of Disability organisations, quite understandably commending such a proposal.
Are you happy to pay an additional % to cover this? Estimates I've heard are from $300 to $500 p.a.
It seems to me to be a very loaded question. To say no, would be to imply lack of concern for the very real problems of people with disabilities, and I wonder if this is why the government have instigated this discussion in such emotive terms so close to the Budget?
Personally, I feel immensely sympathetic to people who - because of inadequate funding - can't get help with showering more than once a week, can't get a wheelchair when that would be their only means of leaving their homes etc - but at the same time, given the woeful incompetence of this government in applying any of the most worthwhile initiatives, - I'd feel reluctant to hand over any more dollars to them when I have essentially no understanding of how those funds would actually be implemented in making lives easier.
I've yet to see how people with disabilities would be discerned amongst the population. Would everyone now on a Disability Pension be moved to the new scheme? Would it cover all intellectual disabilities, all mental illness, as well as obvious physical impairments? Who is going to decide who is included or excluded?
Most people experience some disability as they get old. Are the elderly going to be included in the scheme when what they experience is the expected result of the aging process?
So many questions. Yet we are being asked, apparently, to accept that handing over more money will be something we can happily do in the certainty that it will transform the lives of those people with disabilities.
What do you think?