In thinking about the for-profit nature of healthcare and what this means in the context of a national single-payer system, I had the thought that healthcare ought be considered a public utility, with a local utility board to regulate the services offered within said local community.
I was driving to my breakfast joint and passed work crews doing utility work on the roadside. How did they get the contract for doing that work? They are a work crew as a part of the public utility for water. I read a bit more and there are different kinds of utilities, yet they are all monopolistic. There is typically no competition within the local municipality. There is local regulation through a utility board. The different kinds of utility relate to ownership and profit making.
The different kinds of utility arrangement are 1) publicly owned utility (non-profit), 2) privately owned utility (investor owned utility, for profit), and community owned utility (the local citizens own said utility). All of these different kinds of utilities are regulated by a public utility commission (PUC).
Viewing healthcare resources within a local community as a non-profit utility makes much sense as we want a monopolistic approach to care for all citizens. Healthcare as a utility supports the single-payer funding odel, still allowing for local regulation.
How do such other developed countries as Canada, France, and Switzerland manage to assure high-quality care to all while spending as much as one-third less than we do?