The roots of economic theory are deep and profound. Threads from theories of Cynic philosophers weave together Laissez Faire world views and lingering political debates regarding the differentiation between coercion and voluntary transactions.
The latter defined as only occurring when it benefits both participants.
"Why do people give to beggars, he was asked, but not to philosophers? "Because they think they may one day be lame or blind, but never expect that they will turn to philosophy." To a young man who complained that he was ill suited to study philosophy, Diogenes said "Why then do you live, if you do not care to live well?"
Of grammarians, he was astonished that they desire to learn everything about the misfortunes of Odysseus but nothing about their own. Of mathematicians, that they keep their eyes on the heavens and overlook what is at their feet. Of orators, that they speak of justice but never practice it. When asked why he alone praised an indifferent harp player, Diogenes replied "because he plays the harp and does not steal."--Diogenes the Cynic
There remains a difference, after all, between pointing a gun at another's head and demanding 'Your money or your life,' and threatening to withhold bread from a starving person unless she consents to pay the market price" -- Barbara H Fried
Public utility regulation required businesses impacting pubic interest to ascribe to what has been described as a "affirmative obligation". There are many historical precendents like the Interstate Commerce Act and Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA)--requiring hospitals to treat all comers--as a public interest.
...that all must be served, adequate facilities must be provided, reasonable rates must be charged, and no discrimination must be made-- Bruce Wyman Professor of Law Harvard University 1911
The law makes a powerful argument for free markets in "matters not vital to the life and well-being of mankind the laws of society may be left free to operate, without limits by sovereign power but in all that has to do with the necessaries of life the protection of the sovereign is extended"
Monopolistic Industries such as railroads and electric plants, as well as water works, banks, insurance companies, and housing interests, serve an important human need and as such the market power to exploit consumers--could be characterized as a public utility.
The present programme of organized society is to see to it that those who have gained a substantial control of their market shall not be left free to exploit those who look to them to supply their needs. -- Bruce Wyman
There are features of the market such as an inability for a consumer to shop around for best bargains, collusive pricing, and the emergency nature of entering the market--that may yield untraditional definitions of monopolies.
We need to follow the thread of historical progress in the evolution of medicine. Once a charitable entity what we have in the modern day is a powerful market force with a powerful profit motive. What about market concentration where market power allows abusive pricing? Think of hospital markets and consolidation of power or the RUC. If you don't think the alarming rate of integrated medical systems is a bell-weather of purchase power and anticompetitive consolidation--you might need another "think".
It might be time to look at historical measures to help shape and form healthcare in the modern age...