Before Christmas, the federal government announced in its mid-year budget update that they would be cutting the bulk-billing incentive payments for pathology tests such as pap smears from July 2016.
But now, three weeks later, people are getting really angry. There's a petition that's been signed by 11,000 people and a rally planned for February.
Some people are arguing that your Medicare rebate for these pathology services is being cut, but that is ~not~ true.
Luckily for everyone, the health minister cleared up the confusion on Twitter.
LOL nope, that was absolutely baffling.
What IS being cut is the ~bulk-billing incentive~ that's paid to pathology providers. That's the money the government currently pays to the companies testing your cervix scrapings to encourage them to bulk bill you.
Sussan Ley says everyone needs to chill. She says most providers bulk bill anyway and that probably won't change, because they need to remain competitive.
But the move has been slammed by medical industry groups, who argue that it will shift costs to patients.
Soooo basically, unless the government changes its mind, come July, you should check if your pap smear or other pathology test will be bulk-billed.
Alexandra Lee is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Alex Lee at email@example.com.
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