Argument: Non-profit co-ops are driven by health interests of members, not profits

Issue Report: Health insurance cooperatives


David Frum. “The Case for Health Co-ops”. August 19th, 2009: “competitive healthcare is not the same thing as for-profit healthcare. Nonprofits can compete too! Blue Cross began as a nonprofit after all. Indeed, Milton and Rose Friemdan in their joint autobiography Two Lucky People expressed grave doubts about the profit motive in medicine.”[1]

“Dissecting a health care co-op”. CNN. August 19, 2009: “The company is run entirely by a board of directors that is elected by HealthPartners members. CEO Brainered says it’s primarily because the company is not beholden to shareholders that it is able to keep costs down.

‘That means that their primary allegiance and accountability is to that membership base and customer base,’ Brainerd adds. ‘Making sure health care is affordable is a very big deal to a co-op. Having low administrative costs — there’s no value to our membership in having high administrative fees, so a big focus is on putting the dollars into health care and not into administration.'”

Paul Hazen, president and chief executive officer of the National Cooperative Business Association, the leading co-op trade group: “The purpose of the co-op is to provide economic benefit to the people using it – not to maximize profits.”[2]