It would levy a charge on the private sector for the cost of the overheads that Mr Blunkett said it passed on to the NHS. 'What happens is that the private sector provides the cheap, high-turnover, non-acute work,' he said. 'They do not have vast overheads. They transfer those overheads to us in the NHS with the acute, the intensive care, the long-stay work.'
Mr Blunkett told BBC Television's On The Record: 'It is a simple economic equation that the more you do outside through private health, the more you cost the rest of us - and we are determined to tackle that. We cannot abolish private health but we can levy a charge to reflect the true cost of how much the NHS is being drained by private health insurance.'