Tony Abbott has outlined in his speech today a commitment to “closing the gap” between the life expectancy of indigenous people and “Australians”, by removing health care for all poor people.
Closing the gap is concerned with the difference in life expectancy, quality of life and health care between indigenous Australians and everyone else. It is one of those yearly events where people assuage themselves of the white privilege guilt by nodding sagely at vacuous statements made by politicians who rarely back up speeches with actual dollars or policy.
This year, however, Abbott is actually attempting to make real progress in reducing that difference, as evidenced by a commitment to pushing the budget through in its current form.
“It’s easy to focus on bringing the life expectancy of indigenous people up, but we have to tackle this problem from both sides,” Abbott said. “That is why we are committed to making health care more expensive for everybody. Selfish poor people have been living too long, leaning on the Australian economy.”
The health care reform is only one prong of the government’s efforts to bridge the gap, there are several other budget measures that indirectly have a similar effect.
Abbott said: “We’re really committed to lopping decades of the average life expectancy with a multi-faceted suite of policies,” before adding, “Educated people make healthier choices and live too long, so we’re putting that out of reach of most people, a welfare safety net tends to allow less fortunate people to live longer so we have to address that, and of course it’s true that coal is good for humanity, pollution and climate change will be a great leveller.”
“Before you know it nobody will live past 50.”
When asked how this will affect the nations wealthy he said, “Well I’m sure some of them will be really sad to see their staff dying more quickly, but we all have to make sacrifices.”
Someone called Bill Shorten also spoke at the event.