Liam Farrell - When patients and US-style profiteering clash

The US presidential race is like a blood sport at the moment. The Republican primaries are on, and Republicans are split between two candidates.

Mitt Romney has the most money and therefore the advantage of a colossal advertising campaign.

He is also more moderate and ultimately has more chance of unseating President Obama; moderate in this case has a rather different meaning, for example, he will say absolutely anything to get elected, and if something he says seems unpopular, he will turn round and disagree with himself.

Rick Santorum, in contrast, oozes sincerity, and wears his right-wing credentials like a badge of honour. He appeals to the redneck base, but would have no chance against the president. In the end, I think the Republicans will hold their noses and select Romney, such is their outrage at seeing an intelligent black man in the White House.

Even more right-wing is another candidate, Dr Ron Paul, who consistently picks up about 10% of the Republican vote. A retired gynaecologist, he believes that 'the government shouldn't be in the medical business'.

He is a libertarian, which in a nutshell means, screw everyone else, look out for yourself; if you can't pay for your medical care, tough luck.

Opposed to healthcare bill
All of these candidates vehemently oppose President Obama's healthcare bill, which seeks to provide everyone in the US with medical care. They oppose it, ostensibly, on the grounds that imposing healthcare plans is an infringement of individual liberty. Apropos of nothing, the unbelievably lucrative healthcare industry is also unhappy with proposed changes. Hmmm ...

A vested interest masquerading as a moral principle; now where have we heard that before?

Anything that turns patients into profits is anathema to the ethos of the NHS, but the wholesale changes of the Health Bill are going to further open the doors to US-style profiteering.

Despite the advice from all reputable concerned bodies, David Cameron had a meeting full of yes-men, specially selected to tell him what he wants to hear.

To quote Joseph Conrad, when he wasn't lamenting those white guys going bonkers in the jungle: 'Men learn wisdom with extreme slowness and are always ready to believe advice that flatters their secret hopes.'


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