The Alan Katz Health Care Reform Blog

Health Care Reform From One Person's Perspective

Moore’s Solution: Eliminate For-Profit Health Plans

Posted by Alan on June 19, 2007

Michael Moore has made it clear one purpose of his film, Sicko, is to build support for eliminating for-profit health plans. For example, the Dow Jones Newswires recently reported Moore as hoping his film “film sparks a movement ‘to eliminate private, profit-making health-insurance companies. ‘There’s absolutely no room for them in this country,’ he said.

Moore’s take seems to be that pursuit of profits is a direct conflict with health care financing. Health care is too important to let for-profit companies to participate in this sector.

But food is important. So is shelter and transportation. Should all of these functions be taken over by the government? Moore notes that police services are government supported. That’s true. Yet there’s also a huge for-profit security industry in this country. So why the fixation on the health insurance industry? Especially since many of the practices he deplores in his films are also engaged in by non-profit health care companies?

So, two requests for comments:
1. Please post your take on why for-profit concerns should be removed from health care, but not other important needs such as food and housing; and
2. Please share your experiences with for-profit, non-profit and government heatlh care coverage in the context of whether one type of entity is better than another.



One Response to “Moore’s Solution: Eliminate For-Profit Health Plans”

  1. James Case said

    I work in the state of Maryland which is the only state in the country that has a single-payer system. Both private and public health care delivery have positive and negative aspects. Through the use of the single-payer system, Maryland has been able to keep their growth in cost of hospital care below that of Medicare. However, there are many hospitals in Maryland that are in desperate need of renovations or reconstruction and don’t have the cash flows to complete such projects. Mr. Moore’s film does a poor job of recognizing the balance that is needed in health care reform.

    I believe for profit concerns should not be removed from health care. Although it may make care more equitable and accessible, it also has the potential to create inefficiencies in the system and dampen innovation.

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