From Stephen Law…
Suppose I am very very rich, and very very selfish. The NHS annoys me intensely. It costs lots in tax revenue to run, and being very rich, I pay proportionately more of my income on it, and of course far more in terms of hard cash, then almost anyone else. I also resent the fact that my business empire is unable to cash in on providing the services that people would buy from my private businesses if the NHS was not there.
BUT, the public loves the NHS, even many Tories are fond of it, and to propose scrapping it would provoke howls of outrage. Plus there’s no evidence I can marshal that the public would get a better service if it were provided by the private sector – rather the opposite in fact.
What would I do? Here’s what I would do.
First, I’d ensure a team of expert PR run the Tory party – people adept at twisting facts, spinning, and indeed telling bare face lies and getting away with it. And I’d have my private health companies etc. fund them generously.
Next, once elected, I’d get them to introduce phase one: the introduction of a market system in which GP’s buy services from NHS hospitals, or anyone else, based on variable price, etc. This can still be called “NHS” because it’s still free at the point of use. This would all be justified by lies about how the evidence shows it’s more efficient, etc.