Healthcare Without Profit

Eternal debate: What economic system should be the platform for Healthcare?

Free market proponents: Competition and open choice lead to innovation, efficiency, equity, progress.

Single-payor proponents: Unification of resources leverages mass and engenders equality for all.

I won’t get involved with that debate here.

What I have to say relates to Art.

Underlying all economic theory are sub-theories, sub-assumptions about human motivations.

What economists almost always miss is the tricky nature of life. People change. One day he’s a Capitalist – and then something life-changing happens, and he reaches for Karl Marx for answers.

Yes, we need technicians in Healthcare. Yes, we need capital funding for projects. Of course!!!

What we miss all too often, however, is the Artist.

You see, the Artist eludes the stringent minds of the economists.

A nurse cares for people with as much attention as the painters at Lascaux.

We can – and should charge for providing care. It just makes economic sense.


…But the Artist doesn’t care for making cents sense.

The Artist isn’t interested in rules.

The Artist isn’t interested in sterility.

The Artist isn’t interested in the price of a share.


The Artist is interested in plumbing the depth and breadth of the human experience.

When the Artist looks upon the human body, she sees through her eyes what no x-ray machine can process.

The economics of our current capital system just don’t allow for Healthcare without profit. That’s a reality.

If you’re looking for justice in Healthcare, don’t expect the profit-seekers to change their ways. It’s not their thing – and they do have a role to play. Our world is not black versus white. (Besides, why would you want it that way?)

No, you’re better off looking for the Artists.

They’re everywhere, even though you might not see them.

Once nurses or physicians and other care-givers realize they are artists, the world of Healthcare will change.

Yeah, I know these words are bulls*it. But they’re spot-on.

I wish I could give you an example.

Wait, actually, I’ve an idea that’ll prove that *you* are a Healthcare Artist.

Right now there’s a big chance that a life-problem is troubling you – a loss, a divorce, a heartbreak, an ongoing frustration.

Take whatever it is, and in your artful mind’s eye cusp it within your hands – imagining it a puff of air, a fluff of nothing.

Hold that thought. Close your eyes. Slowly ball your hands around this problem.

Stay with it, motionless.

Now, whisper to yourself: “I am safe in this moment, and peace and health are always a breath away”.

Practice this, practice this, practice this.

There – you did it.

You created something out of nothing.

You created Healthcare without profit.

Phil Baumann





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