“Remember, the …
“Remember, the bottom line for a corporation is profits. If the claim is legitimate and they are going to lose money on it, they should be able to, in good conscience, deny the claim, in the interest of profit.” Ted Cruz
So I discovered this quote yesterday whilst trawling through twitter, and whilst I don’t know much about the Republican Senator for Texas, I do know that he is everything that is wrong with Capitalism.
The quote is relating to health insurance companies (the only way American citizens can get decent healthcare in their country), and Mr. Cruz is essentially saying that profit comes before human lives.
This is why you cannot have compassion and free market capitalism living side by side. If you own a health insurance company, you want to make money, and very time you pay out for a claim (let’s remember that this is not car insurance, it is people’s lives) you lose money. It stands to reason therefore, that a company will do everything in it’s power to stop the unfortunate person from receiving medical treatment.
Here in the United Kingdom, we are very lucky as we have free healthcare at the point of need. Whilst we pay for the National Health Service though out taxes, it is substantially lower in costs when compared the the price of health insurance for an American family of 4 (http://www.forbes.com/sites/danmunro/2013/05/22/annual-healthcare-costs-surpasses-22000/). However, thanks to three years of austerity implemented by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, the unthinkable seems to be coming more of possibility. With private contracts being brought in for specialist care, we run the real risk of the NHS becoming a governing body of private companies, who’s real purpose is to make money off the most vulnerable people in society.
Whilst some may argue that subcontracting is a way of keeping down costs, I ask how this is possible? If one company can provide care for a lower cost (and this is how they win government contracts) then something is being done on the cheap, and I do not think that when it comes to people’s lives, you should be scrimping on the service.
We have seen how government contracts do not work with the likes of G4S’s rather embarrassing fiasco when it came to providing security for the 2012 Olympic games. Not surprisingly, the government had to step in and use the Armed forces to provide security (which would have been a better and cheaper option considering the Armed forces have sufficient training in counter terrorism). We also saw how the contracts for the running of the West Coast Main Line was botched, costing the tax payer millions of pounds before these lucrative contracts were even handed out, and most recently, a BBC article showed how G4S’s private prisons rank among the worst in terms of drug use and re-offending rates. It may be acceptable to use private contractors to provide vital services if they worked, but they clearly don’t, and instead we have the public lining the pockets of corporations. What makes this even more frustrating is that when the Treasury have a chance to get some money back from these companies, they find that their tax systems often voids them of any duty to pay tax here in the UK, meaning more money for them, and a worse service for us.
So this is my first blog entry, and as you can probably have guessed, it’s mostly a left wing rant, but I’d appreciate your feedback, and any tips or articles to keep my going!