Trump was elected with support from Americans driven into an underclass who felt their needs were ignored, that they were left behind.
Over priced health care and education together with structural changes like Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts benefiting the wealthy (President 1981-1989) reduced the percentage of wealth held by the US middle class back to about the early 1900s. Graph courtesy The Economist
Australia also continues to grow an underclass:
From 2001-02 to 2006-07 the the relative health care disadvantage of rural and remote Australians increased about 10 percent.
The rural and remote primary care (doctors, dentists, pharmacies) deficit was at least $2.1 billion contributing to the need for an extra $830 million to be spent on acute care, say 60,000 extra acute care hospital episodes.
People in remote Australia die around three years earlier than people in the city, despite there being fewer older people living in remote communities.
In 2012 some 2.55 million people in Australia (13.9 per cent of the total population) lived in households with income below the poverty line.
Rural households living in poverty have additional problems which exacerbate it, such as poor access to health services, transport difficulties, poor local infrastructure, and vulnerability to drought and other natural hazards. Remote health service issues include 20% less Medicare funded GPs, 80% less specialists and 66% less dentists compared to cities.
……lower incomes and higher pressures on those incomes often means that people in rural and remote areas are more likely to skip visits, treatments, tests and medications because of cost.
How do you campaign for better proactive primary care and better (and affordable) overall health care for rural and remote Australians?
- Initiate fact based discussion with new people.
- Print some of the posters in the infographics link below. Don’t worry if some say 2016, the situation is likely worse now with the Medicare rebate freeze having bitten into bulk billing for primary health care.
- Create your own press releases to local media derived from this web page, fact sheets and infographics. As well as letters to the editor etc
- Publicise the risk that a desperate underclass presents to our democracy as demonstrated by the US and elsewhere. Less healthy Australians are also less productive.
And please let me know about successes including links to online media articles
References – National Rural Health Alliance Fact Sheet pdfs:
- The extent of the rural health deficit.
- The health of people living in remote Australia
- Poverty in Rural Australia
If you wish to join savemedicare.org’s mail list – Subscribe here