Should the Federal Government buy the Healthcare Industry?

Daniel G. Jennings
11 min readSep 5

One of the best ways to fix the US healthcare system could be for the federal government to buy private health insurance companies.

The problem with America’s healthcare system is clear and well-known. The United States spends far more on healthcare than other countries. Yet, statistics show American healthcare outcomes are far worse.

For example, the spent $12,555 per capita on healthcare in 2021, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation estimates. Hence, America spends more on healthcare than other wealthy countries. The US spent $4.3 trillion on healthcare in 2021.

Why American Healthcare Spending is so High

Comparatively, the second-highest spender was Switzerland, where the 2021 average healthcare spending was $8,049. This figure makes America look bad because Switzerland’s population is 8.806 million. Hence, Switzerland’s population is slightly larger than New York City’s (8.468 million).

America’s per capita-healthcare spending is terrible because the US had a population of 340.322 million on 16 July 2023. Logic dictates America’s per capita-healthcare spending should be far lower than Switzerland’s because of volume. Yet US per capita healthcare spending was $4,505 more than Switzerland.

To explain, the sheer volume of healthcare spending should give the federal government the power to negotiate for and enforce lower healthcare prices. Uncle Sam should be able to use the power as Walmart (WMT) or Amazon (AMZN). Walmart and Amazon can negotiate for low prices because of their vast buying power.

Walmart and Amazon executives can tell suppliers the price they want. Suppliers go along because they need Walmart and Amazon’s vast sales volume to survive.

Yet this does not happen in America because there is no central organization that use volume to force lower healthcare prices on suppliers. Conversely, in the United Kingdom, where the National Health Service (NHS) controls healthcare prices, per capita healthcare spending was $5,493.

Daniel G. Jennings

Daniel G. Jennings is a writer who lives and works in Colorado. He is a lifelong history buff who is fascinated by stocks, politics, and cryptocurrency.