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Anne Ruston accuses Labor of running scare campaign

(ABC News: Andrew Kennedy)

The Prime Minister’s pick for health minister in a re-elected Coalition government has accused Labor of running an unfounded scare campaign.

Liberal Senator Anne Ruston will replace Greg Hunt in the health portfolio if the Coalition wins the election, after he announced he will not recontest his seat.

Labor yesterday argued previous comments made by Senator Ruston in 2015 that Medicare was “unsustainable” and that changes needed to be made to it, indicated she would be willing to cut spending on healthcare.

The senator made the comments after the government dropped its controversial GP co-payment policy, which would’ve seen patients pay an extra $7 to see a doctor.

Senator Ruston insists the Coalition is committed to funding Medicare, and says Labor is spreading misinformation.

“I mean they have been out there with the most disgusting scare campaign,” she said.

“Out there [talking to] pensioners on relation to the cashless debit card telling pensioners a Coalition government will force them onto the cashless welfare card. That is not true. They know it is not true. I have said on so many occasions that is a flat-out lie.”

The Opposition has dismissed the claims, saying Senator Ruston refused to rule out in a number of early morning interviews today that there’d be cuts to Medicare.

“The Prime Minister’s hand-picked health minister [Anne Ruston] was given multiple opportunities this morning to rule out further cuts to Medicare and she couldn’t do it,” Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers said.

“Medicare is not safe under Scott Morrison and Anne Ruston, that much is clear.”

By political reporter Henry Belot

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