Profitable Non-profits

What does it mean to be non-profit?  The NY Times today published the article They Were Entitled to Free Care. Hospitals Hounded Them to Pay The article describes how one large “non-profit” national hospital chain hounds poor patients and sends debt-collectors after them if they cannot pay hospital bills.

Medical debt is the largest cause of personal bankruptcy in the US. This article describes the billion dollar tax break given to one “non-profit” organization. 

The “profit” does not flow into the bank accounts of shareholders, but it is clearly not being used to care for the poor.  It is used to expand the hospital chain, build new facilities, and promote the hospital to well-off patients. That behavior furthers consolidation in the healthcare industry, increasing prices, and aggravating the failure of the US employer sponsored for-profit insurance system.The solution: single-payer non-profit health insurance for all residents, similar to what every other comparable economically developed country in the world provides.