Australia's Treasurer Joe Hockey holds a news conference
IN PHOTO: Australia's Treasurer Joe Hockey holds a news conference after a meeting of G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors during the IMF-World Bank annual meetings in Washington October 10, 2014. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Treasurer Joe Hockey has said that Australian should not shy away from paying more for health care as they are soon going to live to be 150. Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is quick to make fun of Hockey's logic.

Shorten has called it a "Sarah Palin" moment for the Treasurer. He refers to the infamous quote by the U.S. politician who arguably said once that she could see Russia from her house. Even though it is highly disputed if Palin really said it, the comment has been associated with the youngest Governor of Alaska. Shorten, who is campaigning in Brisbane, has said that Hockey had a "brain snap." "This proposition to justify his 2014 budget based on a not-yet-born baby's 150th birthday in a century-and-a-half's time, just shows that I suspect our Treasurer's simply lost the plot," ABC News quotes Shorten.

Hockey's comment about Australians living to celebrate their 150th birthday came in reference with his explanation on why Australia should pay more for health care. The Treasurer argued that the budget cuts were justified. He said that it was "highly probable" that a child could live to be 150. While living to 80 or 90 was considered to be a long time a hundred years back, he argues that living with dignity is important. Hockey, along with former health minister Peter Dutton, allegedly opposed the rebate cut from the beginning. However, Prime Minister Tony Abbott overruled it. The Treasurer, however, refused to talk about the "gossip." He said that the decision was unanimous that was made after discussing it with medical professionals and doctors. Health Minister Sussan Ley will speak with everyone concerned, he said. Hockey emphasised that it would be ensured that Medicare was sustainable.

Hockey says that, while he supports the decision to abandon the $20 rebate cut, the cost of Medicare requires to be kept under control. Hockey refers to his five-year-old son who broke his leg during the Christmas holidays. He said that he had to pay only $40 for a waterproof cast even though his son had multiple X-rays and consultations. He says that it is wrong for someone with a high income like him to pay such a small amount.

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