(watching the debate) Why you cant have a Medicare "public option" its simple. The public absolutely cannot be optional.

In the 90s the US signed on to the WTO "GATS" (services 'agreement') which contains a document called the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services, which not only FREEZES improvements in public health insurance services, it also captures all changes in the other direction- as does a newer agreement we're pushing on other countries, that want to trade with us, TISA.

Understanding TISA requires understanding GATS. Both consider public healthcare, not as a public good, or as a national treasure as many Britons still view the beleaguered NHS, - (public healthcare also being, and for a very long time this has been the case, the only kind the vast majority of our people can afford now, making other "choices" indefensible even criminal. Also, thanks to WTO rules, public healthcare cannot be an option, it has to be all of one or all of the other, that's because it frames public services  as trade barriers, requiring that either they comply with an extremely narrow definition of what can be a public service, or if they cant, imposes severe restrictions that gradually eliminate them!  bit by bit, like a noose, (its called a ratchet) reducing them in scope until they are eliminated, replaced by "the Market".

If they are not affordable they still have to be reduced, in the form of the very cheapest services offered in a country, and then looking out to the world, because the Market is sacred, a process is supposed to occur so that a country must look internationally.

That is, unless a public service that existed before the GATS did, is "supplied neither on a commercial basis, nor in competition with one or more service suppliers". a requirement which is so restrictive, it turns out, almost none do.

But, you know what?

if it had existed before Bill Clinton signed the URAA, December 8, 1994 (or possibly before a sort of letter of intent with an implicit standstill was signed on September 20, 1986 Bernie's plan, would have passed it!

Barring sudden invention of time travel, we'll need to follow this procedure to get out of the deal we're in, now. We need to do it soon, though, because the opposition is trying to sign new ones, as quickly as they can. Which will box us in much more, we can bet on it.

The only kind of real public healthcare the rules allow, does look just like Bernie's single payer proposal, It must be completely free and noncommercial, and have no competition, whatsoever, applying equally to all, from the President of a country, all the way down to prenatal care, and maternity care, and pediatrics, for example, medical care for newly born infants, such as a child of undocumented immigrants, lying newborn, in the straw in a farm outbuilding.

That is what we need to do.

Thanks to the GATS, there is no middle ground

People need to know about this rule, as its a material fact which has been driving a lot of dishonesty, for a very long time.

That meant that we have not been able to fix it. because we've been deprived of the knowledge that they had rigged it, and why.

And while our healthcare has not been functional for decades, a lot of people have needlessly died.

That is quite arguably a very serious crime, a crime against all humanity. It has to be.



Bill Clinton signed us into the URAA and the WTO, in 1994, and it has no expiration date, and its restrictions and those of TISA, just get worse and worse. (This noose-like process of strangulation of once public services is called "progressive liberalization".)

Whether he's counting on maintaining the misleading situation or not, Joe Biden, seems to be trying to serve two masters, misrepresenting what he can do, which leads me to suspect that he has no intention of winning. (The general election)

Because the kinds of things he's promising - expansion of the ACA, which itself violated the ceiling which was set as the date an important GATS document was filed, the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services, which is dated February 26, 1998. Thats almost certainly why the GOP are bit by bit "eliminating it and reducing it in scope".  (Don't get me wrong, both parties are in deep in this and quite likely cooperating. The simplest model is likely the best one. (Occams Razor) Using it, everything seems to make sense.

standstill clause in Understanding on Commitments in Financial Service

The WTO GATS also contains an Annex on Financial Services,

AnnexZoomedIn.png

(the very beginning of which is pictured above) which carries a slightly different version of the governmental authority exclusion Article 1:3 b+c - Both together provide the GATS definition of "services supplied the exercise of governmental authority" and now, globally, in WTO Member Nations, they often define what now can be public, and what cannot.

Art1.3.png

So, the neoliberals, just as they are throwing the world into disarray by making public jobs of all kinds into bargaining chips in an international trading game, intending to cash in globally, at the very great expense of decent working people everywhere, The neoliberals are literally trying to eliminate the middle class and push us into an M economy.

To do this they must hollow out the middle sending wages into the free fall state they have been fantasizing about happening for decades, the race to the bottom. (I know this because Ive argued about it with them countless times)

In order to accelerate the fall they also are attempting to capture not only our own country's entire safety net, they are trying to capture the entire planet's. Also, they are performing their attack against the key global empowering resource of public higher education.

Proof:

EUA.eu GATS Statement from bodies representing many thousands of universities and colleges in EU, US and Canada 1

EUA GATS Statement from bodies representing many thousands of universities and colleges in EU, US and Canada

EUA.eu GATS Statement from bodies representing many thousands of universities and colleges in EU, US and Canada 3

EUA.eu GATS Statement from bodies representing many thousands of universities and colleges in EU, US and Canada 4

GATS is viewed as an existential threat to public higher education by associations representing a significant percentage of the institutions of higher learning of the Western tradition, including many of the oldest and most respected learning institutions in the world.

When one realizes the various pieces all point to a literal war being waged, a preemptive attack, on all non-wealthy humanity, the simplest possible explanation, suddenly, everything starts making sense.

Its a war on all democracy (and therefore on all humanity, as democracy is rule by people and their votes) being undertaken by stealth, by a subset of very powerful bad actors, among Earth's wealthiest and most powerful people.

In fact, that is what dozens of authoritative sources have already been telling us.

Nothing less.

Not the entire US government, perhaps  is involved yet, but the leaderships of both parties have.

Also, one of many goals of these kinds of agreements is definitely driving good honest people OUT of government. Look at the firocity with which they are treating Bernie. Who is just trying to get them to honor democracy give up their death grip on our planet and its future, for the good of the country and its people, as well as the rest of the world.

Neoliberalism, with GATS is ruthlessly trying to destroy the safety net we won during the Depression and Great Society era, also by eliminating systematically all our ability to bring back any and all New Deal programs they clearly are behaving like a doomsday cult, trying to cause a catastrophe, one where people wont be able to survive. 

GATS and other WTO and other FTAS - existing and in the pipeline, block all of them, without exception.

Superficially, GATS blocks the expansion of Social Security and Medicare to anybody besides the RETIRED. But, consider this, it also is potentially "putting into play" as they put it, potentially millions of the jobs people depend on to eat, cutting careers short, most likely, simply because others - from the other side of the world, can be extorted into working for cheaper. Because the scope of changes would be unprecedented in human history this agenda would also disenfranchise millions of voters, forcing them to travel to the ends of the earth to find employment. In most countries, this "GATS Mode Four" does not lead to citizenship or even a permanent work permit. Ever.

GATS is so bad and so shamelessly sordid, that it would almost be funny if it wasn't dead serious. How could they possibly get away with it? No wonder they are SO desperate to win this election.

Bernie Sanders, whose healthcare plan is good hearted and would work, likely terrifies the neoliberals who really do NOT want their scheme to be exposed. Clearly, the framers of these 'agreements' had such confidence in themselves and their slick trick, they never intended the country to have an honest election again.

Bernie is avoiding bringing up GATS at all, and is also ignoring its "chilling effects" on regulation, he is behaving as if it was still before 1993, before GATS existed.

But we have to take care to pursue Article XXI which may take years if countries step forward to demad compensation for the jobs they claim they were promised.

For that reason or others the neoliberals embedded booby traps which endanger Social Security and Medicare and other services in the Annex..

We need to be getting out of GATS, now, because of the coronavirus emergency. Its time to dump all these games and FTAs in the dumpster where they belong.

Before Trump signs us into more FTAS. .

Here is how the capture of public services like healthcare and education systems works.  As you can see only Bernie Sanders' proposal maintains our freedom - the three years is likely for removing us from GATS.

does_GATS_apply_to_healthcare.png

Biden is being really dishonest to pretend nothing had changed (Clinton's signing the URAA on December 8, 1994 and its GATS changed everything.) (Read this GATS Backgrounder.)

It really has, and he and his buddies did it.

Bernie is trying to literally reverse a secret coup that the country was never told about, which has radically reduced our ability to fix all these things.

Biden is trying to hide the fact that GATS has taken away our real options. As shown by the fact that they are the things people keep talking about doing even though a TREATY took away our ability to do most of them 25 years ago, in the real world. (The disinformation campaign in the media tries to convince us those freedoms still are on the table. When to get them back, we'll have to pursue the GATS Article XXI procedure.)

Biden - as a Democrat, cant deliver the things Democrats want. Nor can he restore services once they have been liberalized. Trump of course, can deregulate without being recognized as being subservient to GATS+WTO because Republicans deregulate normally. You see, its a very simple algorithm, at its heart, a standstill clause and a one way ratchet, that locks the level of regulation's ceilings at the 1998 level and any violations of that ceiling like the ACA it seems had to be pre-existing (in Feb 1998) Or very temporary (the ACA was likely intended to be temporary, a bridge to globalization) and then eliminated or reduced in scope. 

"Standstill" and other restrictions setting up a policy ratchet from Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services.

It's my understanding from the late Mr Skala's paper that the Understanding means that we cannot regulate insurance more we cannot go forward we are only supposed to go backward, and the ceiling is the regulation that existed in 1998. Unless we get out of the GATS, which seems to be what Bernie is suggesting.  We should declare a national emergency to the WTO so we can accelerate that. Neither Trump nor Biden would ever do that because the WTO is the trick the neoliberals have up their sleeve to break the back of the world's middle class, which they need to do by shock treatment. (i.e. You're fired, America")  Therefore I am almost certain that Biden wants to win the primary and lose the general.

Biden will not be able to implement any of his promises because of GATS, TRIPS and other WTO and TISA-rigid ideology that he also is not about to walk away from, either.

Now, he just has to put up a fight decent enough so that a (possibly rigged by the states, victory does not look like an obvious fraud. This is likely being done by various means as always, voter disenfranchisement and deception, manipulation of closed source voting machine totals. )

But lets recognize where he's lying!

He's making noise about things he knows he cant do because these trade deals restrict them to only the things that are profitable for corporations. More of the same old deregulation, which locks in, something he's also not talking about.

As he knows he cant do these things Biden is trying to make it look like he'd be doing something when he can't, (without modifying or leaving our GATS commitments and TRIPS as Bernie likely would do).

In order to hide all these thefts from our own people and others, we've become one of the most inflexible and ideologically fixated countries in the world and the neoliberals and media, are keeping the lies and inflexibility in place with a disinformation barrage.

They're trying to tell people to believe them, instead of their eyes and ears.

Biden is Delaware's- the most corporate tax haven state,  corporate owned man. Corporations are, many think, a structure that's flawed deeply, as they are often inherently amoral. Its very hard for that to ever change under the current model which GATS locks in, prohibiting countries from requiring any kind of structure for those they do business with, like nonprofit. That becomes discrimination!

Table 2 from Skala's 2009 IJHS paper showing how many things we might try to do with healthcare are prohibited by the General Agreement on Trade  in Services

Biden cannot become a compassionate somebody he isn't, even if he was, his hands would be tied by GATS which could take us years to withdraw from. In the meantime, we should declare an emergency because of coronavirus, one that suspends the need to follow the WTO rules on healthcare and drug pricing (TRIPS). The rules we and the UK, EU, etc, wrote ourselves in order to force our own and other countries, including our own, to buy insurance! (Shhh!)

OTOH Sanders is a genuinely warm guy. Biden and CNN are doing everything they can to hide how the country's future is rigged with trade deals like GATS, making this election not an election so much as a selection - as it was in 2016, of somebody who was unlikely to get people out to vote because the best they can offer is what the WTO dictates, a treaty of by and for corporations which indemnifies them by making voting ineffectual - 

Its also a reactionary organization, that's trying to roll back much of the progress we made in the 20th century in both developed and the developing world. To create a corporate state. 

Lowering all labor standards and important things like wages and working conditions to some international least common denominators so jobs can become cookie cutter parts that are awarded - by law to the lowest bidders.

That will destroy the middle class globally by pushing down wages to global average levels. 

It includes TRIPS which makes healthcare expensive by raising the prices of drugs, legalizing extortion like market spiral pricing of cancer drugs and drugs useful in treating all kinds of illness.

GATS guts the entire world's safety nets and the things that allowed poor countries to improve their healthcare tremendously. Bernie is kicking ass tonight, but he needs to bring this GATS stuff up to really impress the depth of the differences between him and Biden on people.

The Bidens of the world have literally stolen democracy.

Its like day and night. Biden is the corporate candidate, the billionaires candidate. GATS and its hiding, by lying to us for 25 years shows the depravity of corporatism. It 's minions have no problem with lying through their teeth to the country.

WTO GATS, TRIPS and other FTAs are the existential threat to our way of life.

Just look at the European University Association's (EUA) statements on GATS -  TTIP and TISA they joined with thousands of other colleges in the US and Canada to say, have said repeatedly that the GATS, and other similar 'agreements' threaten the very existence of public higher education. Endangering the main means why the middle class..

GATS is gradually gutting public healthcare, higher education. and dozens of other services. GATS Article 1:3 endangers the VA, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. and public education. IF we have charter schools, it endangers public primary education, IF we have private universities, in endangers public higher education.

And of course we do have them. it endangers all public services unless their entire service sectors are completely noncommercial and have no competition at all.

Under GATS rules,which currently apply to us - until we pursue the Article XXI procedure - all (they must be partial only) subsidies cannot help any more people than the absolute minimum possible to help to accomplish whatever the goal is.

All attempts to help people must be "not more burdensome than necessary" (on corporations) so that means means tested and time limited.

AND Thank you Bernie, for ointing out what they are doing, we do need immigrants but we emphatically do NOT want of need modern day slavery in America -GATS does exactly that, setting up a vast guest worker program to suck out the value created by the human race, into the endless maw of greed to use to prop up the most unequal countries' governments, by helping their richest citizens children get jobs, if they can pay the price, at the expense of a widening net of public sector and quasi public sector and many other service workers (80% of economy potentially impacted)

Joe. We don't need your fellow neoliberals' darling, the irreversible GATS Mode Four corporate slavery to displace our workers and undermine Americans wages!

GATS captures immigration for corporations.

The global guest worker scheme, began to be planned decades ago, and its intentions are increasing inequality by funneling profits currently "wasted" on workers upward globally. It wants to squeeze out real immigration and refugees&turn "movement of natural persons"  into a slavery-like thing that replaces Americans and legal immigrants and their children (all of us) with high skill corporate guest workers who often have to pay substantial bribes to get "US jobs" which often pay a pittance. 

They are being exploited.

Its hyped as a way of cutting our costs on education. Our workers+ young ppl are claimed to have too high "unrealistic" expectations+as too expensive. We should be funding our country's peoples own higher education, not hiring exclusively people from other countries, (as so many subcontracting companies now do) and employing mentoring programs to lift all boats, and not allowing the corporatization and capture of human migration by the WTO.

(See the AFSC << keyword <<< for good framing+discussions)

Is the idea to destroy the middle class globally by funneling work to rich people's children everywhere, even while gutting public higher education and healthcare, as well as food programs for the poor, all under the guise of a "free trade" scam? What ever happened to representative government, of by and for the corporations? leaving our own nation's children - of all kinds, often the children of immigrants themselves- to be framed as too expensive to hire as workers?

They're now being framed by our former candidates, when they go overseas and let their hair down so to speak, and are among fellow oligarchs, they are framed as damaged goods, for the crime of having "unrealistic expectations". How lucky we are, that they did not win.

Spin this, I dare you. The facts speak for themselves. I think I have made a prima facie case.