WORDS: Punk Food Bandita
So Trump is currently in the UK with the family in tow, their arrival being reported in the press with the same fascination and dread as bird flu was back in 2005.
There’s been much controversy over the trip, not least because a few days ago the US ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson said the entire economy would be on the table which would allow American companies to bid for NHS contracts.
Basically because Brexit is being handled with people who couldn't be trusted to wipe themselves properly without the aid of their childhood nanny, the British economy is fast becoming a starship abandoned on the planned of Tattooine and the American corporations are here to strip it of all its parts like little capitalist Jawas.
Regarding the NHS being the caviar in the centre of the banquet, what I find most staggering is not everyone seems nearly as concerned as they should be, seemingly falling into two camps. One camp simply doesn’t seem to believe it will happen, despite Woody Johnson clearly stating it will be looked at, despite Farage stating clearly he wants to see an insurance based health care system and is being very well funded by Aaron Banks, who would be set to make even more of a fortune from it, to ensure it will happen. Despite the fact that privatisation has been creeping up on us for some time now, long before Trump even came into power.
Some, and these are rarer admittedly, thinks scrapping the NHS is a good idea. Falsely believing they will get better health care and less waiting times if they are paying for it, or believing the lies that they are waiting for an operation because of immigrants. This isn’t true. Let’s have a look at what is currently going on with health care in America shall we, and see if you think this is still a good idea:
In 2017, 30 million Americans didn’t have health insurance. This was a reduction from the 50 million prior to the Affordable Care Act introduced by Obama, but the numbers have started to rise again under the Trump administration.
In 2016 36,530 people died from preventable deaths due to no insurance.
American patients seek delay in seeking help for suspected heart attacks and skip care more often.
Patients insured through Medicaid- a state and federally funded insurance scheme for low income individuals and families are denied or delayed care significantly more than those with private health insurance.
Actually having health insurance probably isn’t going to help you unless you happen to be significantly wealthy. You still have to pay deductibles when you have health insurance and those who have it are saying this is making their insurance useless when they are being asked to pay thousands of dollars upfront before their insurance kicks in.
60% of people who are medically bankrupt became so despite having insurance. Medical debts account for 52.1% of items sent for debt collection.
Americans are dying younger, life expectancy is falling and the US has seen an unprecedented increase in maternity mortality.
People are dying because they can’t afford medicine. People are crowdfunding for insulin, and dying when they don’t get it. Meanwhile drug company profits hit $67.7 billion a year.
A couple of years ago I went to a lecture by professors Steffi Woolhandler and David Himmelstein, two doctors who were warning about American style health insurance coming to the UK, who had been advisors to Bernie Sanders.
Himmelstein joked that as a doctor he was here to stop the spread of disease. The disease being the greed of private healthcare systems. And he knows a lot about this. In 1996 David was fired by US Healthcare, Inc for speaking out about how doctors are paid more for providing less care and can find themselves unemployed if they don't. Health insurance companies write gagging orders and the right to fire without any reason into their doctors contracts.
He told us about the Tenet healthcare corporation (formerly National Medical Enterprises) who have found themselves in court for fraud and their horrifying treatment of patients, including unnecessary open heart surgery and electro-shock treatment and for literally kidnapping psychiatric patients, holding them without due reason until the day their insurance expired and then kicking them out on the street.
So what are we going to do about this? A bus once suggested to us that if we left the EU, it would mean millions for the NHS and now we are being told that health insurance is the way to go. What you voted for in the referendum doesn’t matter. Do not let where you put an X in a box keep us divided. I’m betting not one of you signed up for this, and if anything can bring even the slightest bit unity back among the divides Brexit has caused then it absolutely must be this.
Think about the sickest you or someone you love has ever been? Are you confident they would have received care or treatment under this system? You shouldn’t be. On a personal level I know I wouldn’t have survived without the NHS and now I have recovered I’m proud for some of my taxes to go to sustain it. Not so proud for it to pay towards the state visit of the tangerine son of a klansman being used as a semi literate puppet by corporations to destroy everything we have built.
If we do one thing, it is to open our eyes to the reality of this situation and fight it with everything we have.