October 2, 1996

Profit Fever: The Drive to Corporatize Health Care and How to Stop It

Author Affiliations

Passaic Beth Israel Hospital Passaic, NJ


by Charles Andrews, 160 pp, $29.95, ISBN 1-56751-057-4, paper, $11.95, ISBN 1-56751-056-6, Monroe, Me, Common Courage Press, 1995.

JAMA. 1996;276(13):1088. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540130086035

In the maelstrom of proposals for health care reform swirling around the nation 2 years ago, Proposition 186 was unique. It was not a bill in Congress or a state legislature, but a referendum on the ballot in California that would have established a single-payer system of health care financing in that state, had it passed. Charles Andrews, author of Profit Fever, was intimately involved in this mass drive for health care as a right and tells its story.

The author opens by recounting the history of health care in the United States, from a set of professions to the emergence of corporate health care. The concept of corporate health care is central to the book and is developed at length. The corporations of which Mr Andrews speaks include not only insurance companies and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) but also hospital corporations. He describes how physicians represent fewer and fewer