Yesterday, Changing More Than Lightbulbs reported that private healthcare company BMI has funded a private, invitation-only NHS policy seminar at the LibDem conference. This led us to conclude that a vote for the LibDems was likely to be a vote sold to private healthcare companies.
Today, thanks to info from a CMTL contributor, we can report that BMI is also funding private, invitation-only NHS policy seminars at the Labour and Tory Conferences. So in the interests of fairness, it is only right to conclude that a vote for Labour or Tories will also be a vote sold to private healthcare companies.
I thought Labour had promised to repeal the Health and Social Care Act if they are elected to government in 2015? What are they doing in bed with BMI at their Conference? Perhaps a Labour reader will explain?
Tory Conference also takes dosh from private healthcare company Baxter
Baxter Healthcare Ltd is the UK bit of American healthcare company Baxter International, that specialises in blood plasma products and vaccines such as swine flu vaccine.
According to Wikipedia, Baxter International has expanded rapidly since the 1970s and has been associated with various crimes and controversies. For example, in 1993 it was convicted of a felony offence in the USA, and in 1999 it paid out $640m to people with haemophilia who had been infected with HIV from Baxter blood clotting products. In 2008 its blood thinning products were associated with 19 deaths in the USA, as a result of using contaminated raw ingredients. In 2009 Baxter sent European labs samples of viral material that were contaminated with live bird flu virus. And so it goes.
Baxter International is also a tax dodger. A downloadable (PDF) Public Campaign report shows that between 2008-2010, Baxter International paid more to lobby Congress than it paid in income tax, despite its profitability. Over the three year period, its profits were $926m. It paid minus $66m income tax (not sure how you can pay a minus amount of tax, but the Public Campaign report says that such companies benefitted from “tax breaks and sweetheart deals” and also refers to tax rebates). Over the same 3 years, Baxter International spent $10.45m on lobbying the US Congress. The UK version of Baxter are also obviously keen on lobbying the UK government.
The Orwellian title of the policy seminar – “A More Liberated NHS?“is a reference to the equally Orwellian title of the Coalition Agreement’s NHS White Paper “Equity and Excellence – Liberating the NHS”. This was the basis for the Health and Social Care Act 2012, which, since it came into effect on 1st April 2013, has been a rocket launcher for the stealth privatisation of the NHS.
“Liberating” here clearly means “nicking stuff”.