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Don't Call It Free


Don't Call It Free

Devan Hawkins

In a scene from Michael Moore's 2007 documentary about the failures of the United States healthcare system, Sicko, the late British parliamentarian Tony Benn reads from a pamphlet distributed to the people of the U.K. shortly before the introduction of the National Health Service in 1948:

"Everyone, rich or poor, man, woman or child, can use it or any part of it... There is no insurance qualifications, but it is not a charity. You are paying for it mainly as taxpayers, and it will relieve your money worries in times of illness."


Good point, but Devan, please get a proofreader. It's Bernie Sanders, no apostrophe. And you are A writer. Yeah, I know it's "free," but you turn people off from reading you, and we miss your point.


Apostrophe AFTER the second "s" whenever the Sanders name is possessive.


"Just like the NHS in the UK, such systems would be paid for by everyone for the benefit of everyone. All the systems are likely much cheaper systems than the ones we currently use because the remove the profits made by health insurance companies and student loan financers, but they are not free."

The above is the secret in plain-sight that the Koch Brothers' heavily funded network of think tanks never wants uttered. That's largely why the MSM never presents it--honestly.

Entities that purchase lobbyists and/or lawmakers in order to disable regulatory rules LOVE the word "free." You know, "Free Trade" and all that jazz. It's ONLY when benefits accrue to actual citizens in need that their Inner Sociopaths rear and they make lots of opposing Noise:

"When the term free is used it unfortunately plays right in the hands of demagogues who would like to portray the benefits of such free services as poor or lazy or worse use language that appeals to racist sentiments. They too will often label these programs as not being free, but instead of arguing that it is all citizens paying for the services, they will say it is the John Galt creators of the world being stolen from to help the masses."


It's probably not the writer's fault. There are MANY typos in this piece.

"Benn's voice raises with a particular since of pride when he reads the phrase about the NHS not being a charity. It is not hard to understand why. Benn was a lifelong socialist and for him one of the most important parts of the NHS was likely that it is not charity provided by the wealthy for the poor, but rather exist because the working class funds it as a means to ensure access to these essential health services for themselves and their children."

In the first line, it should read "a particular sense of pride..."

In the fourth sentence, it should read: "but rather exists because..."

I also see words run together in other pieces posted today.


Sander's: 5 of them. That is not a typographic error; that is ignorance.

The British NHS was funded as a national insurance scheme which debited the employee's wages the cost of one insurance stamp and the employer the cost of 3 insurance stamps to place into one's NHS book when I was first introduced to it in its hey-day. When Thatcher started to maggot British social democracy, dentists and surgeons were writing letters to the newspapers condemning what Thatcher was attempting to do to the NHS.The same insurance system covered unemployment benefits and one's future old-age pension. It worked well.

Australia and NZ also had a specific fund dedicated to welfare but that got subsumed into Consolidated Revenue a long time ago. In NZ, public hospitals are taxpayer-funded, as in Australia.The private specialists in both countries are allocated some beds in public hospitals as long as they do some work in the public hospitals, as in the UK. In Australia and New Zealand GPs and specialists are private although in Australia the government helps towards paying the bill by making a co-payment.The Australian system, since the Tory Howard goverment came to power in 1996, has been increasingly underfunded and is being bent steadily and deliberately towards the USAian health-chaos arrangement, as less and less is being spent on public hospitals and the government co-payment to GPs and specialists has remained the same for many years whilst costs have risen.

Now that NZ and Australia have signed the TPP, no doubt privatisation of health-care will proceed apace and government purchases of generic drugs will cease, forcing up what are already expensive prescription costs.

And don't let anyone fool you that the "Brexit" will do anything to improve Britain's NHS. Brexit takes the UK out from below the European Human Rights umbrella and into the hands of the neo-nazis, the loony-tune right Tories and their Bliarite counterparts in the Labour party, and will please the Murdoch gutter press no end. The banks will still do what banks always have done, which is to create debt and thereby their income.

How a country with the wealth of the USA cannot do the world's best health system beats me; if Sweden could do it, why not the USA?