The government ALREADY runs the two biggest health care systems in the country. Medicare and the Veteran's Administration. Both are failures, and have been for a long time:
In 1965, when medicare was first introduced, they estimated that in 1990, it would cost $9 billion. The actual amount spent in 1990 ended up being $66 billion. In 2000 the cost of medicare was $200 billion. It is clearly out of control. Just you wait to see how much the new prescription drug plan ends up REALLY costing!
And that's all just medicare. When it comes to the VA, ask a veteran just how good a service he gets from the Veteran's Administration and the VA Hospitals. Oh wait, it may be hard to find such veterans, since 90% of eligible veterans choose private insurance! Why in the world do you suppose that is, choosing insurance they have to pay for out of their own pocket over insurance that doesn't (directly) cost them a penny...
But still, people push for nationalizing health care despite these two proven failures. Why in the world do you NHS supporters fancy that a third system be successful? Why would a universal health care system magically work, when the track record is one of PROVEN failure?
You're just engaging in so much wishful thinking with no real foundation in reality.
Sure, the VA may be underfunded, but the government can't pay for social security, either. What makes you think they can come up with the cash for a universal health care system? You think the VA system is underfunded, a universal health care system would go bankrupt almost immediately.
Look at the amount of corruption and fraud in medicare - to the tune of billions per year. A universal system would be subject to abuses the likes of which have never been seen in this country. Costs will rapidly spiral out of control beyond even what the most conservative folks estimate (Medicare sure has!). It will go bankrupt quickly. I don't even want to contemplate the impact that would have on the health care we do have today.
The health care industry today represents 14% of the GDP. The government already controls 20% of the US GDP. Do we really want the government to control 1/3 of the US economy? And once the government has control of health care, they will NEVER let it go.
Assuming a third program can succeed where two others have failed is just pure folly. Assuming the third program will succeed on the grounds that it will be even bigger than anything the first two attempted is the sheer height of insanity. That's not a guarntee for success, that's a prescription for catastrophic failure that will make the Great Depression look tiny.
Gee, medicare is failing, so let's create a VA system that's even bigger! Because it's bigger, it'll be bound to succeed!
Oops, the VA hospitals are failing, so let's create a new universal system that's bigger still! Surely it won't also fail! It's BIGGER! Just like the VA was bigger than Medicare! And look how well it worked out.
You people who advocate nationalized health care frighten me.