All three companies [UnitedHealth, Aetna and Humana] figure prominently in Michael Moore’s new film Sicko, a compelling indictment of the US health system – under which 18,000 Americans die a year because they are uninsured. Hardly the ideal players, you might think, to take a central role in the reform of the National Health Service.
But it is precisely these three corporations, along with 11 other private firms including KPMG, McKinsey and Bupa, that the government this month announced have been lined up to advise on or even take over the commissioning of the bulk of NHS services. Primary care trusts, which control most of the NHS’s £90bn budget, will now be encouraged to buy in advice from the 14 selected companies on health needs, contracts and local provision. Potentially, these corporations could take over the management of the heart of the NHS.
…a mixture of market dogma, business lobbying and a revolving door syndrome that saw Simon Stevens, former adviser to Tony Blair and a succession of New Labour health secretaries, move effortlessly on to become European president of UnitedHealth.
Of course ethically it is entirely consistent when your life is threatened to defend yourself, just because their rationale is choosing increased profit over life saving medical treatment doesn’t make them any less a threat to life than overt terrorism. Killing with a spread sheet in tasteful business attire in fact makes them a more insidious menace. We shall fight them on the beaches etc. Join the resistance.
Also, John Pilger on Sicko.
19 October, 2007 at 7:23 pm
You would have thought that Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells would have awoken people to the dangers of creeping privatisation in the health sector. Capitalism kills. Literally.
19 October, 2007 at 9:26 pm
Yes, that’s why (as with dentistry) they will do this quietly and incrementally and never explicitly ask the electorate do you want privatisation in the NHS? The trick will be to force this into the open and make the govt. accountable and force a vote specifically about private sector involvement in the NHS, until that happens the service will be back door discreetly privatised as has effectively happened with dentistry (with the collusion of dentists, ahem). Although bottom line until progressive taxes are reinstated to pay for the NHS the debate is not honest. At the moment once you reach the escape velocity of the hundred grand income multiples you avoid tax increasingly, we have a huge ultra rich elite who are going to watch us get killed off by the corporations that further enrich them.