Happy Birthday, NHS, you are just 70 years old. Meaning, 71 years ago you didn’t exist. What did people do? Die is the answer. And as Tory austerity aided by Tory Brexit return’s society to 19th-century conditions, people may be dying once again from a lack of health care. But we can keep our NHS free at the point of service providing universal healthcare by NHS staff.
Theresa May’s increased spending vote winner announcement taken from Labour policy is a misrepresentation. There will be more money spent because the current Tory austerity bent government will return spending to the levels of Gordon Brown’s Labour government. And Brown took office during a recession! Yet Labour still pumped more money into health care than the government today.
When Labour left government in 2010, their spending on the NHS as a percentage of GDP was at the European average. And to maintain that level, the Tories needed to increase spending at 4% per year and not merely 1.5% per year. So, we need to raise the level of spending to what is was pre-austerity and then increase it.
Can We Afford It?
We cannot afford not too. People will die or live in horrendous pain. Harry Smith lived before the NHS and recalled the bleak and barbarous time.
The alternative is socially and financially expensive as is it sheer profiteering by private companies. Like Richard Branson’s Virgin which sued our NHS because they didn’t win a contract and then took 2 million pounds of taxpayers money in compensation.
At the moment we can fight against private healthcare and win, but Brexit may change that.
In Safe Hands?
During the Brexit campaign, the NHS was used as a tool by many who advocate its demise. And now they are in a position to undermine the system they despise and which citizens pay taxes to access.
So, Boris Johnson writes in Lend Me Your Ears, The Essential Boris Johnson that ‘if people have to pay [for NHS services] they will value it more.’ But Boris is not alone in undoing our health care system.
Nigel Farage who made a fortune for those who backed Brexit wants the NHS share of the financial pie for his cohorts. He supports a private health insurance scheme (video below). I am sure he does, his friend and former boss Aaron Banks is in the insurance game.
But Farage is not the only MEP assured an MEP pension but leading the charge on Brexit and against national health care. Dan Hannan MEP rubbishes our system claiming it makes people ‘Iller’! (video below).
Unfortunately, Tories in the cabinet feel the same way. Jeremy Hunt, minister for health and social care, wrote a policy blueprint for replacing the NHS with an insurance market system. It also involved using the private sector. Leading Tories including Michael Gove and Kwasi Kwarteng backed the document. How scary is it that the authors of the demise of the NHS are now in a position to bring about its downfall.
May’ll invest In The NHS
But why does May want to invest? It may be to steal Labour’s thunder and-or to gloss outlandish Brexit NHS claims. But I think it is more sinister than that. May began by trying to justify increased spending on national health care as a Brexit saving. But very soon May admitted she would be raising taxes, which goes against Tory policy. So why do it?
It’s fattening up the national health services for the USA-UK trade deal. The NHS is a huge cash cow that Tories are privatizing on the sly. And May refused to rule out hospitals being exposed to American privatization.
The NHS is as safe with Brexit Ministers as ‘A pet hamster with a hungry python’ (Sir John Major – Tory)
The #NHSCrisis is a result of underfunding and privatisation. But the NHS will last as long as there is folk left with the faith to fight for it (Bevan). Our health is our real wealth; so don’t let self-interested rich boys persuade us to lose our national health service.
So, use your hard-won vote wisely, beware of the those who pay lip service to national health care; ask your MP to sign the NHS Reinstatement Bill here; support #NHS crowdfunding appeals to make legal challenges against privatisation or gagging junior doctors. And join Keep Our NHS Public. We were born NHS babes, but future generations may not be.
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