Part of the mission statement of a major insurance company reads as follows: “We help to improve the health of our communities, deliver better care to members and provide greater value to our customers and shareholders”. This could very well be the mission of Kaiser Permanente and other non-profits except for the word “shareholders”, which don’t exist at non-profits. The Obama goal is to cover as many Americans as possible to remove the serious fear of being uninsured and the increasing millions of middle age people that can’t pay their premiums.
It’s taken the insurance industry 20 years of lobbying Congress to consolidate into five mega health companies, plus deregulation and have kept their anti-trust exemption.
If Kaiser can collect premiums, hire physicians and staff, develop pensions, build hospitals and have no shareholders, plus zero pressure for equity growth, plus dividends to please Wall Street, why can’t the entire system work toward this model?
The free market paradigm does not work when those most in need and those that can’t afford premiums are excluded.
Breaking up the monopoly with a Public Option is the right thing to do.