Re: Nurses point to “red flags” about potential buyer

I think about the well known saying and wish to use it here: A dog can bark up the wrong tree by not seeing the offensive cat skitter across a branch onto a fence and safety. We can apply this thought to the problem at our hospital.  

Think of three trees as representing the three players in our situation. One tree could be the doctors and nurses and all employees; another could be the Hospital Board while the third could be the San Benito County Health Care District.  

Let’s see how these players differ and what exactly is the difference between healthcare and health insurance? The doctors, nurses and staff provide healthcare. The hospital provides health insurance. The healthcare district provides and oversees both. Now let’s see how the three differ.

Doctors, nurses and staff provide healthcare. They coordinate all departments, X-Ray, MRI, lab, nutrition, physical therapy and pharmacy to focus on and care for patients. Doctors, nurses and staff are the healthcare providers.  

The hospital behaves as the business of health insurance. They self-insure staff, bill other insurance companies and bill patients for services not paid by other insurance companies. The hospital provides health insurance. Unfortunately like all insurance, health insurers want to make a profit.

Profit making is new in healthcare. Insurance companies are in business to turn a profit. It’s like the elusive cat fooling the barking dog. Health insurance differs from car or home insurance. With car and home insurance we pay premiums in hopes we will never have a fire or an accident.  

The opposite occurs with health insurance: we buy so we can use it frequently to maintain health. Health insurance companies want a profit. They do not want us to think of their profit (on our backs). Could they be like the elusive cat fooling the dog so he barks up the wrong tree?

Regarding the offer from American Advanced Management to propose a potential “strategic partnership,” the nurses union presented pertinent facts: AAM declared a $3 million operating loss at a hospital in Modesto and a corruption charge involving an administrator at a Merced hospital. To clarify, American Advanced Management is an insurance company wanting to make a profit.

It seems to me that until we have healthcare for everyone provided by our government we must depend on our health care district to endeavor to balance an equitable program aided by wise voters.

Mary Zanger


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