Profit-Driven Health Care
By Leonard Rodberg
The New York Times, Letters, Jan. 21, 2013
Re “Health Care and Profits, a Poor Mix,” by Eduardo Porter (Economic Scene, Jan. 9):
The way we Americans provide health care is actually far worse than Mr. Porter suggests. It is not just that for-profit health insurance is more costly and less efficient than the nonprofit or government alternatives; it is inherently contradictory. The more health care the insurance companies provide — the more they respond to the needs of patients — the less profit they make. That’s why they cherry-pick the healthy and avoid the sick. That’s why we patients face denials and delays when we try to receive care.
The results are predictable; we have some of the worst health statistics of any advanced country. Other countries make health care a government responsibility, with the result that their people are healthier and they spend far less.
When will we learn, as your headline suggested, that health care and profits don’t mix?
Leonard Rodberg is a professor and chairman of the urban studies department, Queens College, CUNY. He resides in Flushing, Queens.