‘The very idea of health insurance is in some ways the original sin that catalyzed the evolution of today’s medical-industrial complex.’
But the new demand for health insurance presented a business opportunity and spawned an emerging market with other motivations. Suddenly, at a time when medicine had more of value to offer, tens of millions of people were interested in gaining access and expected their employers to provide insurance so they could do so. For-profit insurance companies moved in, unencumbered by the Blues’ charitable mission. They accepted only younger, healthier patients on whom they could make a profit. They charged different rates, depending on factors like age, as they had long done with life insurance. And they produced different types of policies, for different amounts of money, which provided different levels of protection.