Greens' spokesperson for health, Senator Richard Di Natale, and Greens MP, Adam Bandt, said today that the Greens had secured $165 million in funding for dental health. The commitment to allocate the money raised by the Medicare Levy Surcharge towards dental care comes in response to the Greens support for passage of the Government's private health insurance package.
"Access to dental care is one of the biggest areas of inequality in Australia," said Senator Di Natale.
"The Greens have acted to correct that inequality by securing $165 million for dental health, which will be raised through the Medicare levy surcharge. The private health insurance rebate contributes to great inequity in Australia's health system and encourages the development of a two-tier, American style system. Means testing this unfair rebate is an important step forward.
"Although we are pleased with this outcome, the Greens will not waver in our commitment to a universal Denticare scheme, beginning in this year's budget. This is a solid down payment on year one of Denticare but we will continue to work with the Government to achieve this outcome."
Greens MP, Adam Bandt, said that the Greens believe that going to a dentist should be like going to a doctor.
"When I agreed to support the Gillard government, improving dental care was a key part of our written agreement," said Bandt
"Thanks to the people of Melbourne, we are now well on our way to putting dental into Medicare. When there are Greens in both houses, it's good for Australians' health."