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The Effects of International Trade Agreements on Canadian Health Measures: Options for Canada with a View to the Upcoming Trade Negotiations (2002)

Richard Ouellet, Laval University (October 2002) -- "It will be noted that while Canada has avoided the potential effects that the international economic agreements could have on health care, it has done so by taking advantage of the structure of agreements based on quite different approaches. • If the Canadian government wishes to continue exempting our public health systems from the effects of these agreements, it will have to acknowledge that doing so by simultaneously using approaches as different as those of the GATS and the NAFTA is not without risks. What is needed is an integrated approach that reflects trade concerns while respecting the health care priorities of governments."

American Health Care Horror Stories: An Incomplete Inventory

The statistics demonstrating the scope of our nation’s healthcare crisis are appalling enough. Two of three Americans report skipping needed care each year due to cost, including not filling prescriptions or putting off doctor visits. Millions are forced to borrow money to pay medical bills, leading to crushing debt. Others can’t get the care they need even by borrowing, and suffer fatal consequences: physician researchers estimate tens of thousands of Americans die each year due to inability to afford care.

Public services and the GATS, WTO Staff Working Paper, No. ERSD-2005-03, World Trade Organization (WTO), Geneva

Adlung, Rolf (2005) Adlung is a WTO employee. The EU's social safety net is under attack. Partly due to neoliberal construction via FTAs of a new corporate "right of establishment" that nullifies rights to healthcare and education that have never been created in laws as we would hope. Also WTO rules allegedly against "discrimination" ironically are a tool that's being used to dismantle policies and laws against discrimination in countries like the US.

Towards Developing Subsidy Disciplines Under the GATS

Read this carefully so you can understand how the GATS is undermining public education and pulling up the ladders that might otherwise improve social mobility, such as subsidized higher education. All around the world, We are doing this, as are many other rich nations. Its a stealth war on the very idea of a middle class. Everywhere. Note also that this is an Indian government funded think-tank. GATS is really a global con job to con countries out of funding public education, holding out the bait of lower taxes to the wealthy. Judging by email, some readers of this site seem unable to grasp what is going on, as its so far away from what we're fed on TV. Note: "Trade Distortion" is when the normal hierarchies of quality/value/cost (i.e. poor people getting poor services, rich people getting acceptable ones) are disrupted by government intervention or lack of intervention or any other "measure", "devaluing" a service. See also the related principles of minimal derogation, (minimal trade restrictiveness") and proportionality. This applies to healthcare too. Any tiers at all will be expanded. The only way out is to make services free. Thats the only way to preserve their jobs too. Otherwise GATS will outsource them eventually. Unless professionals are willing to work for even less than people in developing countries with rich families who view it as part of the cost to educate them. People with advanced degrees from developing countries are never poor, always rich. So these trade deals do not hep the poor in any way shape or form, they help those who have the most money in very poor countries.

Trade Liberalization & Women’s Reproductive Health

Women often are charged with the responsibility of caring for their families’ health, education and nutrition, and they often supplement, or earn the entirety of, the family’s income, and provide household labor to maintain upkeep of their homes. The liberalization of international trade increasingly affects women’s health by creating new opportunities to improve reproductive health as well as new obstacles to advance reproductive/sexual health and rights objectives in policies, programs and services. New employment opportunities may open up for women, for example, which may enable them to achieve higher income levels and greater access to health services and technology. However, trade liberalization also may lead to higher costs of health services and supplies, lower quality of services, shortages of critical medical personnel because of increased migration or a concentration of health services that may restrict access for lower-income or remote populations