“For-profit” – means you maximize profits and stakeholder value. It means it is about the money.
You charge the most you can. And you keep profits high.
Less regulation – you don’t lower costs, you make more profits.
More customers – you don’t lower costs, you make more profits.
Competition – well, what or who are you really competing with?
Doctors – supply is limited. Why should the good ones reduce their costs? They don’t have to. You would only lower your prices if you had excess capacity. But you don’t. So you won’t.
Hospitals – A lot of fixed overhead required. So it costs a certain amount to run a hospital. If fewer people can afford to pay, and you have to write off bad debt, you need to make it up somewhere – so you might raise prices. But there is no reason to lower prices.
Insurance companies – you would only lower costs if you can keep a decent profit margin and gain more profitable business. CBO said the premiums would be lower BECAUSE MORE SICK PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO GO WITHOUT COVERAGE. Since people who buy coverage will use less of it, you could charge less. But with the ACA repealed, you don’t have to. There is no motivation for insurance companies to lower prices when the risk mix if healthier. Why should they? If people are paying the rates they charge now, and profit margins are thin, why not keep the profits if the costs of those that you insure go down? That is what insurance companies did BEFORE ACA.
A plausible example – A drug company makes good profits on a patented drug that, once prescribed, is taken for the rest of the person’s life. They can charge whatever the market will tolerate – and if the alternative is death or suffering, people will pay. The company is working on an enhancement and will get it nearly ready for approval. They will delay release until the patent on their current drug is ready to expire. That way, they can keep a monopoly on the drug and closeout competition. They notice a medical device start up has a device that would cure the condition and eliminate the need for their drug. While the device is being approved, the drug company buys the start-up. They continue until the patent is in place. Then the drug company puts release on hold. The ‘forever’ drugs are remain profitable. The device never makes it to market.
The Opioid challenge is fueled by routine prescribing of Opioid’s for pain despite the risk of addiction. Alternatives are available. But drug companies have created a protocol of Opoids being routinely provided for possible pain – not just real pain. What motivation is there to stop this practice in a for-profit model? Opioid addiction is bad for people – but not for the companies that profit from it.
THAT is for-profit health care.
What if the focus was on caring for everyone? What if the incentives shifted from profit to quality of care and quality of life?
You could run research centers that focus on finding cures.
You could run rural health centers focused on providing care.
You could build out mobile health care models for handling the homeless.
You could ensure that the focus was on prevention and invest in public school health education on lifestyle choices that impact health.
You could develop support systems for people who require care assistance on a prolonged basis.
And the profit margins can be used to expand the capacity to care for people.
This could all be possible…..
If you believed in providing health care for all.
If you understand that no one wants the cheapest care if it isn’t the best care.
If you cared about people instead of profits or corporations.