Senator will hold congressional hearing in Boston on April 3 that will examine the impact of for-profit companies on health care access 

Boston (March 26, 2024) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security, released the following statement on news that Minnesota-based Optum Financial is seeking to purchase the physician group of Steward Health Care:  

Steward Health Care—which operates nine health care facilities across Massachusetts—is currently facing significant financial insecurity as a result of previously accumulated debt. Steward Health Care was previously owned by Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity company that generated $800 million in profit from Steward. 

“After Steward recklessly took on massive debt that is continuing to that put hospitals in Massachusetts and across the country into financial crisis, the Massachusetts health care system must move away from Steward’s financial insecurity. With this announcement, Optum must demonstrate that it can meet the even greater responsibility to preserve and protect health care access in the Commonwealth, and I hope they will live up to that responsibility by controlling costs and putting patients and providers first. 

“But a health care system that focuses more on profit motive than patient outcomes needs reform. That is why I am holding a congressional hearing in Boston and have invited Steward CEO Dr. Ralph de la Torre to testify and explain Steward’s position. For-profit companies that elect to participate in the health care system must understand that their decisions have direct impacts on communities, and they must and will be held accountable.”