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McMaster University researchers have shown that for-profit health care would cost the Canadian government $7.2 billion more annually. The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, found that private care would cost patients 19 per cent more.

In an accompanying editorial, experts from Harvard University explain the higher cost of private care is a result of built-in profit margins to satisfy investors, high executive bonuses, and high administrative costs.

For glaring examples, you just have to look to for-profit hospitals in the United States. HealthSouth Corp. in Alabama was raided by the FBI in a case that involved more than $2.7 billion in faked assets and earnings. The health services company remains under investigation for billing and other accounting problems.

HealthSouths priority was to meet the expectations of investors at the expense of patients. Its new CEO certainly makes no excuses for it. Im here for our patients, but I work for our shareholders, says Jay Grinney.