Medicine: Earning Profits, Saving Lives

Humana offers proof that health is a sound investment

The sight of William Schroeder joking with his family last week was the best possible advertisement not just for the miracles of science but for Humana, the investor-owned medical conglomerate. In the fast-growing U.S. health care industry, investor-owned companies are challenging nonprofit organizations and community hospitals for a greater share of the nearly $1 billion-a-day business. Profitmaking companies now own or manage more than 20% of all U.S. hospitals, double the percentage of five years ago. Moreover, they are moving rapidly into affiliated areas such...

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