FOR-PROFIT MEDICINE: Soros to Announce $15M Program
International financier and philanthropist George Soros will announce a $15 million pledge to a "new program to de-emphasize profit in medical care, develop altruistic service programs for young doctors and encourage consumer groups to join with physicians" in quality-monitoring efforts, the New York Times reports. In a text prepared for the announcement today at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, Soros said, "Health care companies are not in business to heal people or save lives; they provide health care to make profits. In effect, in the necessary effort to control health care costs through the market mechanism, power has shifted from physicians and patients to insurance companies and other purchasers of services." Soros said the money will fund research and lectures "on the role of professionalism and ethics in modern medicine," and pay for "young doctors to learn how to provide medical services to patients outside the medical mainstream, like new immigrants or the homeless" (Ramirez, 4/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.