Proposals to remove profit from healthcare 'ignorant,' WSJ op-ed argues

While Democrats' "Medicare for All" proposals target for-profit healthcare, the director of health policy at conservative think tank the Empire Center argued in a The Wall Street Journal op-ed that profit, "when properly harnessed," can improve health and cut costs.

In February, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., unveiled a bill aimed at replacing existing private and public coverage with a Medicare option that covers medical services, vision and dental without premiums, copays or deductibles. Democratic cosponsors of the bill, which states that there is "a moral imperative ... to eliminate profit from the provision of healthcare," total 106.

In the March 18 op-ed, Bill Hammond argues the bill would upend a for-profit model used by most private physicians, 28 percent of hospitals, 70 percent of nursing homes and scores of other providers.

"The bill doesn't detail an enforcement mechanism, but it seems to mean that thousands of providers would either have to reorganize as nonprofits or shut down," he writes. "Eliminating profit from an entire sector of the national economy would be unprecedented."

He pointed to New York state's health system as an example of what a completely nonprofit health system could look like. Mr. Hammond said despite the lack of for-profit providers, healthcare spending remains 18 percent higher in New York than the national average, and its average quality ratings are among some of the nation's lowest.

"The House bill's supporters seem totally ignorant of the power of the profit motive, when properly harnessed, to drive health improvements and cut costs. If they ever get their way, patients will pay a steep price," he said.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars