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Americans are sharing their #PrivateHealthLIFEhacks to help Brits

'These are people’s personal experiences to have to adapt private healthcare.'


Samira Sadeque


Posted on Dec 13, 2019   Updated on May 19, 2021, 8:30 pm CDT

The U.K. is bracing itself for a far-right government, and there’s one change, in particular, that’s terrifying a lot of U.K. citizens: the privatization of the healthcare system. Adding to the concern is recent reports claiming that the U.S. aims to capitalize on the U.K.’s healthcare system by having a massive share in its privatization. 

After the win for U.K.’s Conservative Party on Thursday, Imani Barbarin, an American writer and advocate, felt the need to do something to help scared Brits. She created a #PrivateHealthLIFEHacks thread on Twitter where people shared how they’ve found their way around the exorbitant rates of medical procedures in the U.S. 


“There’s been a lot of conversation in my U.K. followers who are terrified and trying to make people aware of their fear of privatized care,” Barbarin told the Daily Dot, “especially when it comes to getting people to understand how little money disabled people have to invest [in] their care. And I see the U.K. kind of going in the direction of the U.S. where disabled people will be making some extremely difficult and painful choices.”

U.K. citizens seem largely unaware of what the implications will be. A recent video by former organizer and Labor party adviser Mike Buckley showed interviews with U.K. citizens being asked to gauge the cost of certain healthcare procedures in the U.S. Many were shocked at learning how wrong their answers were.

After Barbarin’s initial tweet, people jumped in with advice and anecdotes about what has worked for them. 

“The advice we are giving out, these are people’s personal experiences to have to adapt private healthcare,” Barbarin said. “We understand the fear.”


Barbarin is aware that there may be concerns with the accuracy of the information. While some “hacks” might work for some people, they might not work for others. And as is always the case with issues of healthcare, people those accessing the services are likely already in a position of vulnerability. 

It’s strongly recommended that you check with your doctor before employing any “hacks.” 


In the thread, many suggested refilling medication prescriptions right away.

Some tweets insisted asking—and double-checking bills—really helps.


Overall, the responses showed how much work people with any kind of health issues have to do to merely survive. Barbarin said the responses were “heartbreaking.” 

“Whenever a company has the ability to place a value on your life, you’re already coming up short,” Barbarin said.




Barbarin says she’s particularly worried that privatization will disproportionately harm people with disabilities. 

“I feel greater scrutiny around the healthcare conversation leads to a lot more invasive stereotypes and questions for people with disability,” she said.

At least one user said the #PrivateHealthLIFEHacks thread was “eye-opening.”

“I retweet [the advice] because I think they’re incredible in their desperation,” Barbarin said. “It’s incredible that this is a necessary behavior that disabled people have adopted to in order to survive day-to-day.” 





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*First Published: Dec 13, 2019, 2:28 pm CST