Mirrored here for historical purposes from: https://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/opinion/15312879.htm
Posted on Sat, Aug. 19, 2006
Editorial on Kaiser on target
By Charles Phillips
Your editorial “Kaiser fine a pittance” is on target. Kaiser’s attempt to move its renal-transplant patients to its own internal and dysfunctional system is but a symptom of a more fundamental problem.
Kaiser is really a for-profit medical system in which the yearly minimal goal is a 5 percent profit, or $1.8 billion this year. Half of that goes to the physicians — who really run the HMO (per the Tahoe Agreement, Tahoe Two Agreement and Section K of the KP contract).
A monetary fine that would make a dent in that kind of a profit system would be more in the magnitude of $20 million.
The additional donation of $3 million by Kaiser has no meaning since Kaiser is obligated to spend such monies to avoid taxes. There will only be a shift of funds away from some other project, such as asthma care for the poor.
Phillips, M.D., is a former Kaiser physician who lives in Fresno.