Self-proclaimed councillor Mr Roger Arthur makes extensive use of ‘Open Letters to Government’ in your columns seeking responses on policy.
Many recognise that UKIP remains a policy desert, whilst locally councillor Roger Arthur is unwilling to answer questions in letters about UKIP policies, other than that all our ills are down to Europe and Immigrants. He prefers to pontificate on his own pet subjects; but a question now arises, which as a prospective Parliamentary candidate he must not be allowed to avoid. I therefore challenge Mr Arthur via an Open Letter to respond.
The UKIP leader is now on record saying he wants to privatise the health service and move away from a free at point of use NHS, to an American style, insurance based model. He says it would be more efficient and he does not trust the NHS to spend £100 billion wisely. He’s obviously more impressed by private health care providers such as Circle who have just returned Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire back the NHS because they cannot cope; or by American companies such as banks and their survival of the fittest ethos, even if a number have had to be bailed out by the State.
If so, it is an important announcement by UKIP as they have already said they will fund their economic programmes from money saved by leaving the EC; a relatively small and finite pot. UKIP has also failed to say how they will address the threat to the UK economy, jobs and tax revenue, with half or our trade being with Europe, if we withdraw.
In order to keep this easy for Mr Arthur, given his previous reticence to answer questions on UKIP policy, I ask him to answer the following questions on UKIP health policy:
1. How would a UKIP Private Health Care system be funded?
2. Would health care be universal from cradle to grave and for all members of society?
3. Would it include long term community care? If so how funded?
4. Would it cover all treatments, for all conditions regardless of cost?
In answering the last question he might like to note that many private health care providers cap treatment for acute conditions such as recurrent cancer, a disease in prospect for one third of us, and rely on the NHS to pick up follow on treatment and associated cost.
It’s also worth remembering that under the US private health care system 40 million Americans are denied cover, despite the US spending significantly more as a percentage of GDP on inferior health care provision than UKIP’s derided, but which most of us value greatly, NHS consumes of UK GDP.
The challenge is there for Mr Arthur to respond to inform his would be electorate. Based on his past form, I will not be holding my breath for a cogent reply.