Simon Stevens was policy advisor to two health secretaries, Frank Dobson and Alan Milburn , and then to Tony Blair. He then moved into the private sector ending up as Executive Vice President of UnitedHealth .
Stevens' track record at UnitedHealth speaks for itself. He lobbied against the US Affordable Care Act (Obama Care), an Act that only amounted to moderate reforms of the US health care system, but none-the-less helped many more of the poorest Americans access health care. He lobbied for the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that threatened to open up European public services to corporate takeover. He lobbied for the expansion of UnitedHealth into Europe, India and China. Stevens is a founding member of The Alliance for Healthcare Competitiveness (AHC), which is in favour of less drug quality and price regulation, and a ban on the favouring of state providers like the NHS over private companies.
While working for UnitedHealth he led two projects for the World Economic Forum (WEF) - ostensibly concerned about the financial sustainability of government-provided health services. A major part of the WEFs solution was to reduce publicly provided care while increasing private corporations' access to services like the NHS. Stevens acted as project steward for the first WEF report which suggested:
Various forms of rationing and shifting the cost burden onto individuals and employers through, for example, mandatory private insurance
In 2003 Stevens told a US conference that:
The era of English exceptionalism in health care is over
Stevens pointed out the similarity between UK Trusts now set up to 'buy' health from doctors and hospitals, and US 'managed care' organisations such as UnitedHealth. He said that:
Pilot programmes are now testing the partnering of US managed care plans with primary care trusts. ...Free-standing surgical centres run by international private operators ... are a first step. Private diagnostics and primary out-of-hours services are next.
In 2014 Simon Stevens became the Chief Executive of NHS England . On his first day in the role he praised private companies in the provision of health care. He promptly produced a report called the Five Year Forward View .
If all that was not enough, speaking to the Independent in 2015, Stevens has stated that the NHS has no choice but to change the way it provides care through radical reforms towards a US model of care known as Accountable/Integrated Care , moving care away from hospitals, otherwise the NHS will become unaffordable. He has also stated that the NHS needs devolution with regional control of health and social care budgets, a concept that was rejected by Aneurin Bevan when he created the NHS in 1948, not least because it will radically increase health inequality between different areas.
Simon Stevens has only got one ...ambition for the NHS, to hand it over to his former colleagues in UnitedHealth and the American insurance industry. [He is] probably the most dangerous public servant in the country.
NHS For Sale: Myths, Lies and Deception - Dr Jackie Davis et al.
How to Dismantle the NHS in 10 Easy Steps - Dr Youssef El-Gingihy
Pages: 31, 32, 33, 67
- NHS boss Stevens and the TTIP 'trade' lobbyists who threaten our NHS - Open Democracy
- The Five Year Plan for the NHS - Patients4NHS
- Full interview with Dr Bob Gill - harsh truths about the NHS - Real Media