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Jed Jones, 28, and his wife Liu pan, a British Chinese Couple, married five years, together for seven fled Wuhan on an evacuation flight,

Now they are getting told that having their baby in the UK could expose them to a $10,000 cost. Since they have been married so long, shouldn't Liu pan be eligible for UK permanent residency and eventually citizenship? What about their baby, who will likely be born in the UK? WTF? I think I am beginning to understand that there remain some deep seated differences, not so far removed from the ones in the past, why the US revolted, seriously. SHAME on the Tory Party. Healthcare should be a human right. I suppose they are lucky its not the US where a difficult pregnancy can cost in some cases, >$280,000 if a woman is "self-insured" (uninsured). This is a good example of why healthcare needs to be free. The UK's NHS would be in a different category and would not be being forced to suffer this "death of a thousand cuts" (no pun intended) if the UK had been smart enough to follow the rules it itself helped write and abolished commercial for profit health insurance in the UK for rich people BEFORE it joined the WTO efective January 1, 1995. Whoever was PM then shares responsibility with our Bill Clinton for this accursedness . Only if their NHS had not been a public option, and pre-existed the WTO, could the UK's NHS have avoided its 25 year long ordeal of cuts as its gradually privatized in accordance with the WTO rules. Leaving the EU and attempting to re-enter the WTO as a separate entity likely will require they make the UK conformant with the rules and result in the loss of the portions that don't conform, basically everything, *sigh* See the Skala paper- the first link in the external links directory for a list Oops!

Austerity in the UK - "undoing" their "benefits freeze" won't do much to undo its damage.

Its striking how shamelessly the British and US media are covering up the GATS (and TISA- both plan to outsource and offshore millions of public and quasi-public jobs to developing nations temping firms) which are behind all this phony "austerity". Many used to report on it in the 1990s. Those articles can still be found. GATS is basically a global agreement between autocratical oligarchs to pursue what will increasingly become a genocide of the poor by decimating and monetizing public services just as jobs are vanishing to automation and a beefed up safety net is needed.

A long discussion on the captured state (of affairs) for working people in the US, UK and a case in the WTO, DS503 that could pull the rug out from underneath developed country workers worldwide.

A few days ago I was reading British news where they were reporting on the expectations of Leave voters for what would be done with Brexit. It seemed so very far off the mark from what I knew was happening I almost wanted to scream. The same woeful situation exists in the US, where people who have everything to lose are gleefully voting for Biden and Trump clearly unaware of the agendas they represent. When my primary rolls around, I'm voting for Sanders, fully aware, however, unlike many people, I've been fully aware that Sanders signature issue(s) - 8single payer* *was officially "decided" by the WTO >20 years ago*. However, single pater, pure single payer is exempt from GATS so it could conceivably work, except for the little problem of it being 2020, not before the WTO existed, or perhaps the standstill may have even begun as early as the early 80s or formally, September 20, 1986. So frankly, the entire situation is bizarre and doesn't add up. That is unless you realize that the system is very close to 100% captured, Only then - it all makes perfect sense. What a major mess.

What is "Services Liberalization", and what does it mean for our way of life?

Bluntly, as they describe it, the high cost of labor in the developed countries is acting like a huge weight around corporations necks, forcing capital to invest in developing countries, not in us. What is really happening is the system has become less and less dependent on any one workforce. Increased profits are motivated by both greed and increased competition for jobs.

Mind the GATS! (Robert Newman, The Guardian, 2000)

"Leaked WTO documents show them currently working out a list of what will be acceptable as a "legitimate" government objective for any regulation of services under GATS. That of "safeguarding the public interest" has already been rejected. If GATS goes ahead, warns economist Susan George, "then Europe can kiss goodbye its public health services". But even though that's just the start of the disaster, there has been no parliamentary debate or news coverage about GATS. (It's way too important for that.) The British government's official line is that there's nothing to worry about anyway. The DTI claims GATS won't apply to the NHS or education here because "non-commercial services" are exempt from the fiat . But GATS says that if you've got just one tiny part of a public service that's even an iddy-biddy-bit commercial then THE WHOLE THING IS UP FOR GRABS."

More worries about GATS (The Guardian letters 2002)

"Under GATS, the more a service is exercised in competition or on a commercial basis the more it appears that a service can be opened to liberalisation. In health, the involvement of the private sector in the NHS may mean that the NHS would fall under Gats rules. The re-emergence of a market in the NHS, the new "localism" of primary care trusts and foundation hospitals which will have their own financial freedoms, the proposed privately run diagnostic and treatment centres, the use of overseas clinical teams, agreements with the independent sector for integrated care and the contracting out of support services call into question the assumption that the NHS is exempt from Gats. Services liberalisation under the Gats could mean the last rites for the NHS and other public services. The government needs to clarify the terms of Gats to ensure public services remain out of reach. What we don't want is to leave the NHS awaiting a trade challenge. We plan to call on the government via the DTI's consultation on Gats to press for greater clarity in its wording, to ensure that public services are exempt and to undertake an impact assessment of the GATS before it commits itself to an irreversible process. Warren Glover Chartered Society of Physiotherapy GLOVERW@csp.org.uk (2002)"

The UK's health is threatened by the push to privatize it's National Health Service. Here is what must be done to preserve it.

The reason why the UK's NHS is vulnerable is the fact that they signed onto the WTO GATS agreement, and also SELL commercial health insurance in the UK, which opens up a Pandora's box of problems. These commitments will end when the UK leaves the EU. That change will trigger demands for compensation for any perceived loss in "future expected earnings". Additionally, re-joining the WTO may trigger similar demands from other WTO Members. This should be obvious to anybody who is familiar with the GATS and WTO negotiations. So its quite strange that there has been nothing about it in the media.

TiSA - Foul Play

by Prof. Jane Kelsey (pub by UNI Global Union) This is an up to date overview of TISA and its global attack on public services of all kinds, as well as a strong, concise explanation of what its aims are. Creation of a global corporate superstate that limits the powers of nation states and by extension, all voters, all of humanity, to regulate even the most important sections of their economies. It's a must read on the extremely undemocratic TISA agreement.

2014 Story on St Louis TV station may have GATS lock-in implications

Midwestern TV channel does series on UK contractor "paying workers to do nothing" . Because the US made commitments under the GATS this may legally establish a binding entitlement under GATS to compensation, perhaps in jobs, because GATS is a one way street, unless a country is willing to pay for their policy freedom which gets more costly silently, when things like a foreign service provider entering a market happen.. I think this story may illustrate a big downside to GATS, or shall we say, a darker side to GATS.

Trading it away: how GATS threatens UK Higher Education

"Perhaps the most fundamental observation we make is that, while most of the advantages associated with the internationalisation of HE already lie outside the GATS framework, a significant number of dangers specific to the GATS trade regime lie within it. As a consequence, endorsing GATS as a framework in which to pursue the internationalisation of HE is taking a largely unnecessary risk. We divide our analysis into several sections. In Section 2, we provide a brief introduction to GATS, looking at its structure, the motivation behind its existence and some of the key controversies that are dogging the agreement. We outline 11 general concerns about GATS, and show how each could impact on UKHE. We then address the central question of the extent to which UKHE is currently protected by the so-called ‘public services’ exemption in GATS, and find that the exemption is of highly limited relevance to UKHE. This is likely to be of particular significance given that UKHE stands on the very cusp of liberalisation under GATS".

The politics of the private finance initiative and the new NHS

"This is the last of four articles on Britain's public-private partnership in health care We began this series by arguing that the private finance initiative, far from being a new source of funding for NHS infrastructure, is a financing mechanism that greatly increases the cost to the taxpayer of NHS capital development. The second paper showed that the justification for the higher costs of the private finance initiative—the transfer of risk to the private sector—was not borne out by the evidence. The third paper showed the impact of these higher costs at local level on the revenue budgets of NHS trusts and health authorities, is to distort planning decisions and to reduce planned staffing and service levels."

How the World Trade Organisation is shaping domestic policies in health care

(The Lancet) "The previous round of WTO ministerial talks (the Uruguayan round) allowed governments to protect health and social services from GATS treatment by defining them as government services. According to GATS Article 1.3, a government service is one “which is supplied neither on a commercial basis, nor in competition with one or more service suppliers”. Article 19 of GATS is, however, intended to end this protection. “Members shall enter into successive rounds of negotiations . . . with a view to achieving a progressively higher level of liberalisation.” The WTO secretariat has argued that for services to be classified under Article 1.3 they should be provided free. Many governments initially protected health services from GATS treatment by defining them in this way. But the WTO has highlighted the inconsistencies in this approach. 12 “The hospital sector in many counties . . . is made up of government-owned and privately-owned entities which both operate on a commercial basis, charging the patient or his insurance for the treatment provided. Supplementary subsidies may be granted for social, regional, and similar policy purposes. It seems unrealistic in such cases to argue for continued application of Article I:3, and/or maintain that no competitive relationship exists between the two groups of suppliers of services.” In addition, Article 13 of GATS calls for the end of subsidies that distort trade and requires members to negotiate procedures to combat them. Therefore, according to the WTO, wherever there is a mixture of public and private funding, such as user charge or private insurance, or there are subsidies for non-public infrastructure, such as public-private partnerships or competitive contracting for services, the service sector should be open to foreign corporations. Health-care systems across Europe are vulnerable on all these counts."

How the World Trade Organisation is shaping domestic policies in health care

David Price, Allyson M Pollock, Jean Shaoul, THE LANCET - Vol 354 - November 27,1999, pp. 1889-1891 "Multinational and transnational corporations, including the pharmaceutical, insurance, and service sectors, are lining up to capture the chunks of gross domestic product that governments currently spend on public services such as education and health. The long tradition of European welfare states based on solidarity through community risk-pooling and publicly accountable services is being dismantled. The US and European Union governments are aggressively backing this project in the interests of their business corporations. But the assault on our hospitals and schools and public-service infrastructure depends ultimately on a promise from one government to another to expand private markets. Such promises can be kept only if domestic opposition to privatisation is held in check. We need to constantly reassert the principles and values on which European health-care systems are based and resist the WTO agenda"