Coffee comment ‘out of context’, says Sudmalis

GILMORE MP Ann Sudmalis claims a comment she made about a proposed $6 co-payment for GP’s costing the same as a cup of coffee was taken out of context.

The comment, made on WIN News, attracted national media attention and scorn from the Opposition, which called it a “Vanstone moment”, a reference to an outburst by the former Liberal senator over a $5 tax cut in which she asked what $5 would buy.

“Well I think some people will say that’s just too hard,” Mrs Sudmalis told WIN News.

“But basically pretty much that’s a cup of coffee if you go out these days, a little bit more. That’s not a lot of money to make sure you’re covered off with health.”

Mrs Sudmalis was unrepentant on Thursday.

“I know what’s out there in media. It has been misconstrued. 

“There were two parts of the answer. I talked about how this was not government policy, but part of a list of recommendations. Unfortunately, they didn’t run the first part of my answer. I am disappointed both sides of my comments were not recorded,” Mrs Sudmalis said.

Opposition health spokesperson Catherine King condemned Mrs Sudmalis’s comment.

“For a lot of families this will be the difference between going to see the doctor or putting their visit off altogether. 

“These comments are very arrogant and show the Coalition simply doesn’t care about the impact that Tony Abbott’s GP tax will have on families.

“More than 80 per cent of Mrs Sudmalis’s constituents rely on bulk billing.  Mrs Sudmalis appears to have little concern about the equality of access to health services.

Mrs Sudmalis rejected the

criticism.

“I don’t want to be drawn on

this anymore. I’m described as

cold-hearted and arrogant and I’m not,” she said.

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