During his hotly-protested state visit to the United Kingdom, US President Donald Trump let slide his intentions for the NHS. He revealed that the privatisation of Britain’s publicly funded health service would be “on the table” during post-Brexit trade talks.
Both Conservative and Brexit Party officials have shown their backing for a privatised NHS. Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn announced mighty disapproval to the President, but here’s what healthcare could cost you if Jeremy Corbyn’s warning goes unheeded.
And according to the most up-to-date Milliman Medical Index, the most popular health plan offered by employers to a typical American family of four costs an average £22,163 per year.
These costs are so astronomical, most people just can’t afford them. So on average, employers pick up over 70 per cent of the bill (based on 2016 figures). This means that if a person loses their job, they and their family also lose access to healthcare.
Without insurance, here are the costs for common services:
*childbirth data via The Economist
Countless Brits further rely on the NHS for mental health services, but a recent case from the US is a reason for caution.
A 21-year-old needed a week-long stay in an Oklahoma hospital after attempting suicide, he was charged over $93,000 (£73,000). He shared his bill on social media, only to discover countless others with comparable issues.
He was charged over $93,000 (£73,000). He shared his bill on social media, only to find many others with similar issues.
But why is the NHS in crisis? Well, the explanation is simple. The government chose to underfund the service, rendering it with limited money than is needed. Hoping that people will feel let down by their services and in the end plead to go private, or our government will say, “Well, if you’re not happy with it…”
But what makes it even more bizarre is that the NHS is totally affordable. The UK has a GDP, the amount of wealth we produce each year of over £2 trillion a year, the NHS only costs about £150 billion, but right now, the NHS is suffering by a crisis that’s being fabricated by those endeavouring to benefit from its decline, enabling politicians and the media to scapegoat patients, staff, and the concept of the NHS itself, rather than taking accountability for a crisis of their own making.
Some argue we can’t afford to keep the NHS. The fact is, we can’t afford not to.
Make no mistake, Donald Trump didn’t come to visit England to commemorate the D-Day celebrations, Donald Trump has set his sights on our National Health Service, and the ridiculous thing is, our government are going to let him, and the US big pharma, which bankrolls the Republican Party, view the NHS as a barely exploited goldmine as the Tories lay it open to more and more private ownership.
And how tempting would it be as our government unravels to offer up the glittering prize of the NHS for protecting our Brexit bacon? No wonder Theresa May refused point blank to ensure protection for the NHS back in February during any bilateral trade talks with the US.
In May, Donald Trump condemned high US drug prices on “freeloading” countries that used their haggling power to force US pharmaceutical firms into giving them pills and medications at low cost, and the US health secretary Alex Azar has declared they would use trade agreements to put restraint on nations with “socialised” health care systems.
Donald Trump intentionally misinterpreted the huge UK demonstrations in support of the NHS during the winter crisis, tweeting that “the Democrats are pushing for universal health care while thousands of people are marching in the UK because their [universal coverage] system is going broke and not working.”
People were, of course, marching for more funding and support for the NHS, not to get rid of it and set up private health care, which would leave millions of people with no health insurance, as it does in the United States, and also keeps the US life expectancy below the UK’s.
And it’s not only the NHS that faces this threat, but it also affects all of our public services. The more the Tories lay them open to competitive privatisation and corporate takeover, the more danger they’re in from any bilateral agreement with Donald Trump.
And never mind chlorine-washed chickens, these dastardly rules cover everything from animal welfare to chemicals to the import of crops for biofuel, and we might assume that these rules are basic protection for us, animals and the planet, but the US simply believe that they needlessly restrict trade.
Even our Cornish pasties and Stilton cheese are in danger, as the US wants us to abandon those troublesome EU rules around the geographical origins of specific foods, and I’m sure that many would march against Donald Trump any day of the week for the Mexican children he has cages, some of whom, following their long separation, can no longer remember their parents.
His politics are wicked and discriminatory, along with his pussy-grabbing ethnocentricity, climate change dissent and his hate-filled agenda, and that’s what Donald Trump stands for, and even if you take the view that those things are none of our business, you should at least realise that Donald Trump wasn’t here in England for the heatwave or a nice cup of tea, he was here for the most lucrative thing, our NHS, and if there’s one reason to Remain in the EU, it’s so that Donald Trump doesn’t get his grimy little hands on our NHS.
If Donald Trump does get his hands on our NHS, it will simply show how weak our government is, and how quickly it will hand over control to this US puppet master, and those that can afford private healthcare, that’s excellent, adios and pay for your private healthcare, but there are millions in the United Kingdom that would never be able to afford to.
Since Aneurin Bevan pushed for the NHS to become a reality in 1948 it has saved millions of lives and improved countless millions more that would never have had access to health care otherwise, and this man would be turning in his grave right about now because the NHS is our national treasure that needs to be preserved at all costs, because without it, health care equality would be lost, taking with it, the lives of those who can’t afford to pay for private healthcare.