The Health and Welfare Bill
This week in parliament, our MP Chris Pincher voted for the Health and Social Care Bill (check how your MP voted here: http://www.goingtowork.org.uk/how-mps-voted-on-the-health-and-social-care-bill/), despite objections from the public and professional and charitable bodies. He chose not to support a delay until the Risk Register could be considered; this means your MP blindly follows the party line without really understanding what he is voting for. Effectively, this is a vote for privatisation of the NHS and a vote against democracy.
Here’s a letter I sent to Mr Chris Pincher:
Dear Mr. Pincher, MP,
I am writing to ask you to reconsider your position and vote against the Health and Social Care Bill in the commons today, Tuesday, 20 March 2012. My reasons are that I believe that this Bill, if passed will so dramatically change our NHS as to make it unrecognisable and introduce privatisation on a scale both unheard of and totally unacceptable.
This Bill was not part of you party’s manifesto, and neither was it part of the Coalition Agreement. Your own David Cameron, PM said the NHS was safe in your hands and that there would be, and I quote “no top down reorganisation of the NHS.”
The governments listening exercise was a pretence; the reasonable and legitimate concerns of the majority of the public and health experts have been ignored. Is this the ‘Big Society’ we were promised? Is democracy a thing of the past? Perhaps more importantly for you, do you want people to vote for you at the next election?
The minor amendments to the bill have done nothing to alter its overall impact; the quality of healthcare for ordinary people will deteriorate in favour of those who can afford to pay; the NHS will be regionalised, resulting in post code lotteries for health care, and again allowing private, profit motivated interests to cherry pick which regions they will invest in.
Finally, the refusal of the government to release the Transitional Risk Register for this Bill, despite an order form the Information Officer and an appeal tribunal leads me to believe there is something to hide; something the government does not want us, the public to know until it is a fait accompli; something the government does not want MPs to know before they vote and expecting them to pass judgement without knowing or understanding the risks.
Now is the time to practice the democracy you preach; now is the time to show us you not only listen you act; now is the time to show us you might be worth a future ballot paper.
Maybe Mr Pincher would care to tell us why he voted for the Bill, despite the legitimate concerns expressed above; perhaps he could tell us why we should vote for him at the next election. It isn’t that far away; I for one will remember.