One industry to nationalize is that of Healthcare and Health Services. A nationalized healthcare system would provide the sort of universal health coverage the American citizenry needs and deserves. When an individual is working steady and has a good healthcare plan, it is very easy to dismiss the need for universal healthcare because that person thinks such a plan is aimed at caring only for the poor. Yet, if that same person were to find himself or herself caught in the layoff scheme of a company that is downsizing and they lost their health benefits, the need for such a plan would become all too apparent. Aside from this, our society has a number of difficulties lying in wait within our collective future. Human life expectancy is getting longer with each passing year. Poverty is preventing an enormous number of people from getting very basic medical service. These are things like prenatal care, dental care, physical examinations, and preventive care. To add to the problem, the cost of medical care and medicines are skyrocketing. Hospitals already receive taxpayer money as they are heavily subsidies. There are laws on the books that require hospitals to provide care for anyone that needs it. The cost of this care is subsidized by either the State or federal government. There are also such laws aimed directly at medical care for children, and pregnant women. The intent of such laws is to insure that those without medical insurance receive medical treatment. The State then reimburses (subsidizing) the hospitals for the cost of this care, and these subsidies alone total in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Asking corporations to aid communities truly would add additional costs to their operating budgets. However, if we stop placing the burden of our nation’s healthcare on the backs of employers, the revenue for their aid to communities will be more easily parted with. The average business pays between $5000 and $7000 per year (depending upon the type of plan) to provide an employee with healthcare coverage. Once small business and large corporate employers are released from the financial constrictions of providing healthcare coverage to employees, some of the resources needed to aid communities will be recovered without significantly reducing the profits of normal business activity.
Nationalizing healthcare is not a new concept to our elected officials. While Congress has been debating the healthcare issue, the notion of nationalizing the healthcare system has come up more than once in various forms (for example, the McDermott/Wellstone Bill). Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan, and Canada are examples of countries that have national healthcare systems. One of the arguments against a national healthcare system here in America is that the quality of care will go down because of it. However, according to a World Health Organization analysis report, the United States ranks 37th in the world in overall quality of care given to its citizens. This ranking is below that of France (1st), Italy (2nd), Japan (10th), Great Britain (18th), and Canada (30th).
Medical care in America has become big business and it is being driven by profit gain rather than concern for providing care to all Americans. In a report attributed to the Census Bureau in November of 2001, the revenues for the healthcare and social assistance industries were a combined $1.06 trillion dollars. Of this amount, hospitals alone had revenues of $430 billion dollars. Hospitals are merging to compete for business. They are being bought up and restructured such that their facilities are aimed at giving care to specific individuals and their ailments as a way of increasing profit. Through the nationalization of healthcare and related services, our nation can provide basic medical coverage for all Americans. This will increase our collective standard of living, our national health, and help to create a more perfect living condition for us all. During the height of the debate on healthcare reform, the issue of whether or not nationalization was the solution came up in Congress. Why is that? It is because the idea of “limited” nationalization as a way of producing service and revenue has considerable merit.