I live in Australia which has a hybrid UHC/Private system. Basically everyone pays for "medicare" (Which I guess would be called "medicaid" in the US) as a small addition to tax. Totally transparent, its just part of income tax and the contribution is income dependent. On top of that we have a private health system where you can get private health cover AS WELL which gives access to private hospitals (although in my experience the private hospitals are inferior to the excellent government ones, especially in emergency care). You have a choice here, but the govt system is largely excellent, however there might be waiting times to see specialists , sometimes in the months range for non essential stuff, and thats where private health cover is advisable. Fortunately private health insurance is well regulated and the doctor, not the health insurance companies , have final say in approving treatments.
Anyway, as you can imagine, when we have progressive governments, funding for the public system increases, and when you get conservative governments, that funding decreases.
But it backfires horribly to defund it, and ironically the actual costs increase.
I can giive an example. Under state labor, my local hospital had the 4 hour rule. In emergency, you would be seen within 15 minutes of ariving (or less if its urgent) , and within 4 hours either be seen by a doctor and sent home (maybe with medication or bandages or whatever) or admitted to hospital. In the case of borderline cases like Influensa, a patient would be sent to an Accute observation ward for overnight assessment. Its a great system that works brilliantly.
However in the last few years our state has had a conservative government that has systematically tried to defund the hospital. The end result is that waiting times have blown out to be multiple hours for non trauma cases in the emergency ward, and doctors are increasingly overworked and stressed out.
Last time I was admitted to emergency ward I was in with internal bleeding. Because I didn't *look* unhealthy it took 3 hours to see and diagnose me. This happened when I finally vomited blood and collapsed in the waiting room unconscious. I required surgery and a few weeks recovery. The doctor told me that if I had been diagnosed within half an hour of being admitted, it would have been a simple procedure and I would have been home within a day. As a result of underfunding, I cost the government *vastly more* in treatment costs then had I not. This is not a case of malpractice, the reality was the hospital was overworked and it took 3 hours to see me because thats how long it took to free up a doctor from all the other emergency cases.
It might seem paradoxical that properly funding universal healthcare is cheaper than not properly funding it, but it actually makes sense when you remember that prompt adequate treatment is almost always cheaper than trying to patch up some poor sod who's condition has been made worse by not treating it.