Monday, May 23, 2016

BREXIT: TTIP + EU = No NHS? Think about it

With the whole scaremongering about how TTIP and the EU would destroy the NHS, let's think about this for a sec.

1. Most countries (if not all?) in the EU have some form of state sponsored affordable healthcare system, because we're not the USA. If affordable healthcare was threatened in the entire EU, you can be sure the MEPs of the whole union would fight for every country's right to retain their respective systems. It's not just the NHS that's under fire, it's EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY'S HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS. It's a big deal for everyone, not just the UK.

2. If the UK left the EU the USA would bully the UK into accepting TTIP in its current form, as a "well if you want us to do business with you, you have to agree to our terms", in which case yes, the NHS would be screwed. The UK would be so desperate to get the prospective trade deals it would entail to accept whatever was offered, without caring so much about the consequences. TTIP is a big bargaining chip for the USA. "But we want to keep our NHS like it is!" "Well, tough, you do as we say, or we're leaving. You need us, we don't need you." "But but but ..."

There would be nothing to bargain with from the UK's side, because UK is small potatoes as far as the USA is concerned. They can do without striking a deal with the UK, a UK without the EU can't. EU is a massive market, and the USA has already said that they're not interested in the UK as a standalone market, because there's not enough selling/purchasing power in a small country like the UK.

3. In addition to #2, the current government are already trying to dismantle the NHS by running it into the ground so there will be no other option than to get rid of it. They've done a stellar job so far. They don't really care about us, the "common people", they care about money and earning more of it, and let's face it, the US healthcare system is in the business of making loads of it. That it's hurting a lot of people in the process seems to be beside the point.

Yes, the NHS is currently underfunded, overworked, badly managed, and increasingly unsustainable in its current form, but there are things that can be done to change that. Changes which should include actually checking people for if they're permanently residing in the UK or have an EHIC and charging the rest accordingly. (This is after all why it's important to take out travel insurance when you go abroad!)

Point being: the government want any excuse to get rid of the NHS, and leaving the EU and as a result being forced into accepting TTIP in order to trade with the US would be an excellent excuse as far as the government is concerned - because then it wouldn't be THEM who got rid of the NHS, it was a necessity for The Greater Good, a.k.a. trading with the USA, so it was clearly THEIR fault ... Meanwhilhe, staying in the EU (the cost of which is a tiny fraction of the total spend of this country - look it up) would mean we have allies who also wish to keep their healthcare systems intact and we can fight it together.

But what do I know? I'm just another one of those bloody EU immigrants, who had the nerve to come over here and pay taxes.

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