Trump’s rapacious pirate ship gang now wants big pharma profiteering to go global. In an announcement that has many Britons incensed, US Ambassador to the United Kingdom Woody Johnson suggested that the NHS (Britain’s National Health Service) should be “on the table” in future trade negotiations.
What does he mean by that? Probably at the very least that a partial privatization of Britain’s healthcare system should be considered as a bargaining chip for trade negotiations. After all, an administration that favors arming teachers as a “solution” to school shootings is being every bit as consistent when contemplating monetizing medicine as an “improvement” to British healthcare.
Britain’s health secretary, Matt Hancock, who is in leadership contention to replace Theresa May as Prime Minister when she steps down, became the first leadership contender to explicitly rule out any trade deal that put the NHS on the table. “I love our NHS – it’s been there for me and my family when we have needed it most, and I want to make sure it is always there for all families,” he said ahead of Trump’s visit to Britain. “So I have a clear message: the NHS is not for sale and it will not be on the table in any future trade talks.”
It may not be that easy. If Britain leaves the European Union without some kind of a trade deal in play, what is known as a “hard Brexit,” it will leave Britain vulnerable in trade negotiations with the United States. Even an inept creep like Donald “Art of the Deal” Trump might actually be able to pull off an advantageous deal that would include dismantling part of the NHS. And Donald Trump, for obvious reasons, is very much in favor of a hard Brexit for Britain. So is Vladimir Putin, for that matter.
Trump’s billionaire cronies in big pharma need more money, of course. And what better way of getting it than turning Britain into yet another healthcare-for-profit country, just like the USA? After all, what billionaire doesn’t want to be a trillionaire?
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.