The Government, whilst busy privatising the NHS, is also hell-bent on removing free prescriptions from the majority of over 60s; in order of course to maximise profits for the private sector its Health & Care Bill will usher in to eventually take-over the NHS.
With the aim of creating an American system of paid and insurance based healthcare, there is no such thing as any form of healthcare being provided 'free' to the elderly and infirm; including prescriptions.
The Government intend to align the age after which free prescriptions are given with that of the retirement age, currently set at 67 for majority of people.
The Government pensions website states: 'Default retirement age’ (a forced retirement age of 65) no longer exists.' It further says in the news section: 'The government’s review proposes a new timetable for the rise to 68, in line with continuing increases in life expectancy.'
The arguement is that people are now living longer, and clearly the Government believes that means people should work longer thereby reducing the pensions cost to the treasury.
This is the sole reason for now removing free prescriptions from those aged over 60 and aligning it with the intent to make a default pension age of 68, with moving it to 70 yrs at some future date not being ruled out.
As a result many people will be working through illness infirmity and dropping dead at work won't be a joke any longer!
The public consultation which the Government ran ended on 2nd September 2021 and was as with majority of Government consultations; lacking in the publicity required to maximise participation from the public. The media of course were mostly supportive of the move with arguements about the country not being able to afford pensions and the so-called pensioners 'triple lock' of benefits.
Of course given that healthcare is being privatised and that the Health and Care Bill provides for a legal footing for the 42 Integrated Care Systems (American terminology) based on US healthcare models and designed by private healthcare companies from the US e.g. Kaiser Permanente; providing free prescription goes against the principle that healthcare is a business and subject to market forces and profit generation, is not exactly the thing to do!
As a result, a petition to Parliament demanding the protection of free prescriptions from aged 60 has gathered support with 38,466 signatories as of today (14th January 2022).
To add your name to the petition, simply click on the petition notice image above right.
Source: DWP / Parliamentary Petitions website