16/01/2015 11:53 GMT | Updated 18/03/2015 05:59 GMT

The NHS Is Not for Sale

The NHS is not for sale. Let me repeat that because David Cameron doesn't seem to be listening. The NHS is NOT for sale.

His latest wheeze is to back an EU trade deal which threatens our health service and everything it stands for.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has been described by War on Want as an 'assault' on society.

This potential treaty with the US could essentially mean more NHS privatisation. It would allow American health giants to bid for NHS contracts then sue for millions if the government tries to ditch them.

And it's yet another example that we can't trust Cameron to tell us the truth. No mention was made by him of the sell-off when he was out begging for votes during the 2010 general election.

The election that got him into bed with the equally untrustworthy Nick Clegg.

News of these behind-doors talks have leaked out and people around the country are outraged. In Chelmsford, hundreds have put signs in their windows demanding 'Cameron & Hunt Estate Agents' stop the sale.

They want the prime minister to protect the NHS by using his veto. Fat chance. Instead, we've got weasel words and empty assurances from the health secretary.

Of course, we already know that the coalition wants to flog off the NHS- and this deal will make it easier. Take their social care reforms.

The 2012 Health and Social Care Act came with the promise that local people would have the final say in who ran their services.

Instead, it allowed a huge increase in NHS privatisation . A staggering number of NHS contracts have gone to the private sector since the Act was introduced.

Nearly seven out of ten according to campaign group the NHS Support Federation. But the Tories aren't going to stop there. They may deny they want a US-style system where those that can afford it get the best care through private insurance and those who can't put up with long waits and are denied life-saving treatments. A two-tier system is what we're heading for though under Cameron.

Lansley's changes to the NHS have already left no control. The money goes in but no one is in charge of it. Instead, we've handed over the money to doctors and left them to get on with it.

The result is a care 'lottery.' Any chance of getting the best treatment is down to luck and where you happen to live.

For the NHS to be reformed we need to take back the power- the clue is in the title 'National'. But they've broken it up into tiny parts.

There's this myth that a US-style healthcare system is more efficient. It isn't. The US shows the private sector doesn't necessarily deliver more for less or is more efficient.

Instead, it spends comparatively more on hospital admin costs than other countries including England and Scotland.

And the vicious response to President Obama's healthcare reforms tells you everything to know about the culture of private healthcare.

America's healthcare industry spent millions of dollars to block the introduction of public health insurance and protect their financial interests.

You'd have expected the health service to be on Cameron's list of six election priorities for Britain.

But no, saving lives wasn't important enough. Funny that because in 2010 he said the NHS would be his number one priority.

It's yet more evidence that he lies- not that we need any.

Labour is going to make the NHS a priority. We've fought to protect our health service for nearly 70 years so we're not going to let Cameron flog off our most precious asset now.

We're going to campaign on every doorstep for what matters. An NHS that gives everyone access to the treatments and services they need.

Because we know that matters to the people of Britain.

Tom Watson is the Labour MP for West Bromwich East

This blog was first published on the Trade Union Group of MPs blog, and can be read here

The Trade Union Group of MPs is a vehicle for promoting the voices of working people in Parliament, working with a wide range of MPs and trade unionists to push the political agenda on to the side of working people