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    The Hawke/Keating government found a successful balance of market liberalization, as symbolized by floating the dollar, and state-sponsored community support, such as medicare.
    In contrast to the evermore popular game of portraying market and intervention as incompatible, a future government needs to find success in again balancing the common good with economic effectiveness. Otherwise Australia’s national story will become a tale of two societies, with one blinded by bling and the other one muted by disadvantage. That would not be worth drinking to.

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    Obviously Medicare was a major achievement of the Hawke government, but I think this piece gives him way too much credit. Medicare was part of the Accord negotiated when Bill Hayden was Leader of the Opposition, Bill Hayden was absolutely committed to Medicare and prioritised it, possibly because he was the one who introduced Medibank.

    The person who deserves most credit for Medicare is Neal Blewett, minister for Health and not even in Cabinet when he was managing the introduction, possibly because of personal antipathy from Hawke.


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