Labour broke its election promise of cutting the cost of visiting the doctor which was meant to have started in July, essentially by blaming the price of doing the deal with its coalition partners.
The most costly partner by far is New Zealand First with the three billion bucks being set aside for its Provincial Growth Fund which of course will do it no end of harm in rural New Zealand come the next election.
The Budget we're told will be an exercise in constraint with the Health Minister David Clark, having wiped the egg from his face, telling us that the cheap doctors visits won't be the only area that'll now have to be phased in, rather than being doled out in one dollop.
But the constraint it appears, doesn't only apply to GP visits, with Clark saying he's been involved in the Budget process and tells us "phasing" will be across every portfolio with the exception it seems of those occupied by Peters and his sidekick, moneybags Shane Jones, the undisputed, self proclaimed first citizen of the provinces.
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It does give rise to the notion that while Grant Robertson, who doesn't appear to have put a foot wrong, may be in charge of the purse strings, it's Peters who's actually pulling them.
Robertson's been out selling the sizzle in advance of his first crack at crunching the numbers in just over two weeks' time. But he spends a little too much time telling National Party sympathisers, who tend to dominate business audiences, that they're cleaning up the mess after nine years of neglect.
Like or dislike them the last Government managed to steer the country through some of the most turbulent political waters in decades, starting with the global financial crisis and having to cope and pay for natural disasters and a mine explosion.
It's fair that though the Finance Minister bangs on about neglect in our underfunded health system which is becoming more apparent by the day. The vast majority of the 20 District Health Boards are now in the red to the tune of almost $200m, something National's finger-pointing leader Simon Bridges does seem rattled by.
Clearly flustered, he said he'd heard about "Prime Minister Grant Robertson" talking about sewerage at Middlemore Hospital while the seasoned board directors say it was a beat-up.
That might be so but there are many hospitals in varying states of decay, which is simply unacceptable in a country like ours.
Flattered Robertson might have been about his momentary promotion in the eyes of the Opposition leader, but perhaps he was having a premonition about the real power behind the throne, Prime Minister Winston Peters who he'll soon be confronted with.