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Strange Inconsistency Between WTO Rules and US Politicians' Proclamations on Single Payer Raises Dark Questions.

By       Message Chris topher       (Page 1 of 4 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   4 comments

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It appears that WTO rules directly conflict with expansion of any public services not carved out from their rules inwriting, especially state and national political campaigns for single payer healthcare, raising questions as to whether there is a cover up going on of the ability of WTO rules to block policy by politicians and the insurance and drug industries, creating a false impression that the changes taking place are reversible in normal manner, through elections, they are not. Trade deals go to great lengths to make changes, such as opening a service sector to international trade, irreversible. Which would effectively block single payer. the danger of this happening soon is substantial. In fact it really should be stated that officially, our entry into NAFTA and especially the WTO, was a committment to never create new public services again. The country was never told this. The WTO rule most important to understand and easiest to overlook in its importance is WTO GATS Article I:3(b) and(c), which explains what constitutes a "service supplied in the exercise of governmental authority", which represents one of the only exclusions available from GATS liberalisation rules.

Real Road to Single Payer
Real Road to Single Payer
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The WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services "GATS" is a trade agreement on services, which became effective on January 1, 1995, and its coverage is extremely broad. Few people realize this but on the advice of a great many experts, it would seem to bar most of what appears to be needed in order to make healthcare insurance (and other services such as higher education, water and many others) affordable in the current and coming years. Additionally, there is a strong likelihood that the gridlock on healthcare over the last 20 years was caused by GATS and that its hiding is intentional.

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If so this would have caused the death of around a million poorer Americans to date, (killed by inability to access any affordable healthcare and therefore deterred from seeking needed care by cost until it was too late) This crime of exclusion would repesent a crime against humanity with no statute of limitations.

Additionally, the nation's lack of awareness, perpetuated by an increasingly "captured" media. (see defs of "captured state", "state capture", and "control fraud") may be leading us into a lock in- a trap- an essentially unfixable situation.

The goal would be preventing the creation of any workable fix for healthcare, prolonging a murderous, but extremely profitable situation until world trade constraints, part of an increasingly recognized to be illegitimate trading system, were silently triggered.

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The effect of this system could lead to the options available for the majority of Americans outside of employer provided healthcare to gravitate towards "solutions" that either were delivered offshore or which involved the large scale replacement of much of the US workforce with foreign firms who would also gain a right to use their employees, bypassing the better known pathways for work permissions, by means of "movement of natural persons" provisions in trade deals such as the "Fourth Mode of Supply" in GATS (GATS Mode Four) and similar provisions in pending deals such as the one now pending in Geneva on services (parts are available to read via leaks)

Its possible that organized efforts to force poorer Americans who had a family member with a chronic illness to leave the country to get medical care could be illegal under some international treaties. The choices between allowing a huge change that undermined wages and working conditions for skilled professions and either leaving or giving up needed healthcare has the smell of an organized campaign which is particularly troublesome.

Forcing Americans to go overseas for care or accept seriously attenuated healthcare comparable with that in much poorer nations here, (after all, its an emergency) is an example of the problems posed by endorsing systems which have been shown repeatedly to be failures. (Such as the hideously broken US model for almost totally unregulated for-profit insurance system and the market spiral drug pricing system.)

The planning of a system to open up trade in services, pushing wages in the US and other developed countries down to world average levels has been a core "feature" of the GATS since its inception. This fact is important and its been totally kept out of the media (as has anything about GATS really)

Some countries - India is notable in this respect, claim that their #1 goal in participating in the WTO is increasing their service exports. Not just as parts of standalone companies but also in a pure staffing capacity which is repugnant to many Americans because its goal is simply to replace US workers with much cheaper foreign replacements without any rationale other than avoiding prevailing wages in what are clearly professions which require substantial skill and cost to enter. (A good example is nursing and medicine)

There is no denying that the US has a healthcare affordability problem but that is caused mostly by the huge waste caused by the health insurance layer which adds so much complexity, and extra accunting costs, as well as increases the eventual cost of health care by preventing people from accessing doctors until they are literally forced to.)

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It also possible that the desire on the part of the US pharma industry to lower the availability of inexpensive generic drugs intenationally has led to some kind of deal having been struck recently with India to trade jobs for market access as a domestic provider (National Treatment) a shift that would allow US pharma companies to buy out their competitors, a change that would likely lead to big increases in the prices of generic drugs a change the poor people of the world cannot afford.

GATS also seems to frame subsidies, such as Obamacare subsidies as a market failure and limit their use. It may even bar the long-term provision of subsidies as we know them today, instead forcing shifts to globalization of services. (It's quite likely that international trade will be leveraged in some manner to bring this about, a change which would not necessarily bring anything like decent quality services at low cost for the poor, because making such services attractive would likely be barred, if they caused crowd out of commercial offerings. Its likely that if they did continue, they would have to be greatly limited in scope, perhaps only available to people after they had been destituted and could no longer pay even a tiny amount.

Were the situation more like that in countries where public healthcare pre-existing to GATS (most developed nations) or delivered for free, there would be no such cripling of the public system. However, here, because of the particularly twisted way these rules work, the government entity, for example, a US state, might be subjected to successful suits in a WTO dispute resolution tribunal by foreign firms to stop it! (This bears mulling around in your mind for a moment, please think about that a foreign, non-accountable panel could determine our policy in a vital area like health care, and that the decision would be final and would be enforceable by huge fines if it was not obeyed. )

It should be noted that GATS specifically endorses the concept of selling highly tiered services such as healthcare and education without government interference as corporate rights, rights that totally exclude any much needed right to health care. And also that it operates at a supranational level, totally unaccountable to democratic rule of law. So, no US Presidential candidate or state or other candidate for office could realistically hope to fix this once it fully locks in, a danger that is imminent by the proposal by the GOP and Trump to sell one policy across state lines.

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Chris is a person with a questioning and inquisitive mind living in the United States, who believes another world is possible.

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