One Democratic talking point about the health care bill is that it is not a national takeover because citizens will still be purchasing insurance from private corporations, rather than simply going to a government paid doctor. At some point in time, however, an industry grows so heavily regulated that the businesses are no longer truly private enterprises. Perhaps utilities fit this bill. Hence we should ask whether, after these new regulations become law, insurance companies are still truly private corporations.
I am reminded of a bit of wisdom, or something like it, from the editors of the Legal Papers of John Adams: "It was common 18th-century practice to divide the proceeds of such suits, a third each to Governor, informer, and Crown. In many situations, fees and forfeitures were used to encourage an element of private enterprise which helped to keep salaries low and place the cost of government on those who invoked its powers." To call the work by government officials, backed by the powers and instruments of law "private enterprise" because they could exercise individual initiative, is a perversion of language. The same might be true of health care in the U.S.