You're approaching this as if I had declared that eliminating private insurers was the only factor. It isn't; and there is no question that some people get adequate care. However, some people don't. I know a couple -- personally -- the lady has diabetes, some kind of serious thyroid issue, and is a breast cancer survivor. She is very careful about her diet, exercise, sleep... but her condition is deteriorating regardless. She cannot get health insurance. The fellow has bad knees, a tumor or just some kind of lump in the back of his left eye, a hernia, outdated eyeglasses he can barely see through, and his teeth are in just awful shape, to the point where you can see how much pain he is in just by looking at his face. Often, he can't eat, because his gums are so inflamed. Sometimes when he does eat, the pain causes him to vomit. He can't get insurance either. Neither one of them can afford to purchase care, or is able to go into debt to a degree such that they could pay for the care they need - no spare resources. They both work; he makes 18k and she makes about 6k. They're nice people - smart, too. But circumstances walked them down near the bottom of the economic ladder, and when their health went... there was no safety net.
These are the types of people the system, as is, simply does not serve. They are outliers in the health sense, and while they aren't the average person, then again, they aren't all that rare. Both are in their fifties. It's not enough, in my opinion, to just shrug and say "oh well" and let them suffer. Even the changes that look like they're going through congress and the senate won't help them until what, 2014 or so, at which point the insurance companies will finally have to take people with pre-existing conditions. There's no telling at what cost to the applicant at this point, either, so who knows if even that will help.
I'm not pointing at England or Canada or anywhere else and saying "do it that way." I'm just saying that one of the things that needs to be done is to remove the profit motivated, skimming entities from the middle of the process. They add cost, and they deny people care, and they aren't part of the actual medical process - they are not the sick, and they are not the health professionals. So in addition to doing things in a moral and rational manner on all other fronts as well, we need to eliminate the parasite in the middle - the insurance company. This is precisely the type of thing government can be good at -- because their salaries and bonuses and perks don't have to depend upon how many people they deny service to.
It seems truly obvious to me that maximal health is as important a basic factor for maximum productivity -- personal, state, national -- as is education. I honestly cannot understand why people in the USA, of all places, where equal opportunity, as best as we can manage, is such a strong basic precept... I can't understand why they want to skimp. How can we look at people suffering and be ok with it? How can we penny pinch in the face of it? Do we look at a child down a well and say, hey, that's going to cost a lot to get her out of there, too bad? No, we call in all the heavy equipment we can find, fifteen different fire departments and fly in a ten million dollar Japanese pipe-crawling robot prototype. Truly, I don't understand how we can let (approximately) 35 million people sit at home (presuming they have a home) suffering from all manner of medical problems that we
are fully capable of addressing, or at least, ameliorating.
And in the meantime, we're spending trillions on warfare in order, as near as I can figure, to provide corporate welfare for the military industrial complex.
Maybe I'm just stupid. But I really don't get it. And it makes me very angry.