“Do not look at the American model, please do not. Build on what you have”

US Senator Bernie Sanders has urged Britain not to look at the American model of healthcare, during a visit to the UK, urging politicians instead to ‘build on what you have and improve on what you have’.

Speaking to Andrew Marr on LBC, Sanders warned that privatisation of healthcare and a growing role for insurance companies was not going to make the situation better and that healthcare is a ‘human right’.

Contrasting the situation of the UK with that of the US he said: “We probably spend in the United States twice as much per person on healthcare. We spend $13,000 for every man, woman and child, an outrageous sum of money and yet we end up with 85 million people who are uninsured or underinsured while the insurance companies make billions and billions of dollars.

“The function of the American healthcare system, something which you should not emulate here, is to make the insurance companies and the drug companies phenomenally rich.

“The goal should be, is how in a cost effective way, people find quality healthcare to all people as a human right, that’s the goal and it’s a lot less expensive than allowing the insurance companies to get involved in order to profit off the system”.

Sanders was asked if he saw a risk of Britain following the American model. He added: “Do not look at the American model, please do not. Build on what you have, improve on what you have. Healthcare is a human right that’s what it is and that was established here in 1948.

“I understand your system has problems, deal with those problems, but don’t think insurance companies and privatisations will make the situation better, they will only make it much worse.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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