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Letters |

Defending Health Care: For Patients, Not Profits

Neil Whipkey
JAMA. 1998;279(13):991-992. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-13-jbk0401.
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To the Editor.—The call to action article by the Ad Hoc Committee to Defend Health Care1 contains some areas that are right on the money and many others that miss the mark entirely. As the administrator of a small rural hospital, I have spent more than 25 years working in the not-for-profit sector. What a misnomer. Who among us is against profit? The simple reality is no bottom line, no mission.

Although this group may succeed in generating much dialogue, there are a few specific comments from the article that deserve response. For instance, the authors single out "companies responsive to Wall Street and indifferent to Main Street." Main Street America is in and on Wall Street up to its eyeballs. We in the not-for-profit sector have for too long isolated ourselves in small enclaves within larger communities, and all too often we have hidden behind a shield of community holiness.

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