Last month we spoke with LES doctor Dave Ores about his inventive non-profit health care program for restaurant workers in New York City (see our story Dr. Dave’s Cure For a Sick Healthcare System). Since that time he definitely hasn’t shied away from the national debate about health care reform. If anything, Dr. Dave has become even more outspoken about the need for non-profit health care.
As reform proposals begin to emerge in Washington, D.C., the idea of private sector health care co-operatives seems to be gaining ground. The Senate Finance Committee may be looking at proposing “co-ops” as an alternative to a government plan. The New York Times recently profiled Group Health, one of the country’s few surviving health insurance cooperatives, in Seattle, WA, which acts a lot like the type of cooperative Dr. Dave’s advocating. Some left-leaning political action organizations, such as MoveOn.org have argued that “weak half-measures
like the co-op are being offered to garner Republican support” and have started campaigns to oppose them. They contend these proposals undermine “a
robust public health insurance option“. MoveOn seems to oppose the idea of any type of private plan. But what about a private non-profit plan? We asked Dr. Dave to comment on MoveOn’s stance via e-mail and here is his reply:
I think they confuse health care for all Americans (national not-for-profit health care for everyone) with Health Insurance which is some access to some health services (maybe) for a subset of Americans.. ..the ones who will pay them trillions of dollars for a small percent of their health needs…It is really a choice between health care FOR profit vs. Health care for ALL Americans (not for profit). They are not the same animal. A for profit system vs. a not for profit system. The fact is a “for profit” mission statement is incompatible with health services and care for ALL Americans. The existing for profit system (so called private insurance) excludes at least four groups of Americans. The very poor. The very sick. The very old and Veterans. Those groups are EXCLUDED and dumped onto the Medicaid system (ie: the American taxpayers).
A not for profit system (like MEDEX) would cover every American cradle to grave with NO CONNECTION to their employment (or lack thereof). Just no one would make trillions in profits to keep for themselves like the last 50 years.
They can make profit in other industries. Making OBSCENE profits of off sick and dying Americans is inherently evil. Madoff times a million!
USA deserves and needs a single national not for profit Healthcare system like all the other countries on Earth.