Although it’s often said that we live in a post-truth society, some ideas are so self-evidently true they remain uncontested. No one would argue that nonprofit organizations should engage in profiteering or that charities should treat those in need in uncharitable ways. Unfortunately, many nonprofit hospitals are pursuing their financial interests at the expense of their charitable missions.
As charities, nonprofit hospitals are exempt from paying most taxes in exchange for providing tangible benefits to the public. If they provide charity care to the needy and serve as accessible health care providers for low-income patients, then the value that they bring to the public should far exceed the value of the tax breaks that they enjoy. This is the tacit bargain between these hospitals and the public at large.