For-profit health insurance |

For-profit health insurance

Two feelings surfaced for me after reading in The Union on Wednesday, June 18 of Tracie Nunnink’s death from breast cancer.

One, of course, was profound sadness for the Nunnink family at the loss of a beloved family member.

On the heels of this sadness I was struck with wonderment at how in a nation that boasts, although incorrectly, of having the best health care system in the world, patients can face death with “health insurance … exhausted and many bills … left behind.”

The bottom line of for-profit health insurers, just as is the case for all producers of commodities in our free market economy, is profit. Their take on every health care dollar is 25 to 30 cents which goes toward administering the thousands of separate insurance plans, and for profit. This compares with less than 5 percent to administer Medicare.

For-profit insurers need not even be bundled with the concept of health care; they are simply risk assessment businesses whose function is to serve as “gate keepers” to determine who passes and who fails.

Proposed alternatives to our current system can be found at

Terry Fieldhouse

Member, Nevada County Chapter, Healthcare for All-California

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