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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/3/19

Donald Trump In Secret Talks To Privatize U.K.'s National Heath Service

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How might we react if we discovered a foreign country was working behind the scenes to privatize our public school system?

How about if that country--or any other--were in cahoots with the White House to privatize our roads, our fire departments, or police departments?

Assuming we were sufficiently informed about it, we would probably be justifiably up in arms.

Yet, as we speak, Donald Trump is secretly working with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to work out a post-Brexit deal to privatize Britain's National Health Service (NHS).

Last week, U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn exposed over 450 unredacted pages of leaked documents produced during six rounds of U.S./U.K. trade talks from July 2017 to this past July.

Corbyn stated during a press conference Trump administration negotiators are "demanding" the NHS be put "on the table."

He added:

"That could lead to runaway privatization of our health service. Mega-corporations see Johnson's alliance with Trump as a chance to make billions from the illness and sickness of people in this country. And if the Conservatives have their way and this deal goes forward, the changes I've revealed will be almost irreversible."

British Prime Minister Johnson continues to insist NHS is not "on the table;" however, Corbyn argues:

"These uncensored documents leave Boris Johnson's denials in absolute tatters. Voters need to ask themselves some very serious questions. Is the NHS safe in Boris Johnson's hands? We've now got evidence that under Boris Johnson, the NHS is on the table and will be up for sale. They tried to cover it up. Their secret agenda today is exposed."

The U.K.'s Channel 4 first aired a story quoting anonymous sources with knowledge of the ongoing trade negotiations, reporting:

"They want to remove the U.K.'s ability to block American drugs not deemed 'value for money' and restrict our powers to allow cheaper alternatives to be prescribed to patients which save the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds a year."

About this, Corbyn said:

"Longer patents can only mean one thing: more expensive drugs. Lives will be put at risk as a result of this."

Comparing drug prices in the U.K. with those in the the United States, Corbyn drew an example from Crohn's disease and rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira:

"It costs our NHS  1,409 a packet. In the US, the same packet costs  8,115. Get the difference:  1,409 in our NHS,  8,115 in the USA. One of the reasons for US drug prices being on average 250% of those here is a patent regime rigged for the big pharmaceutical companies."

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)

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