There are pros and cons to each system. In Canada, most Canadians have no clue how much their healthcare actually costs because they "never" see the bill. If they realized that it could cost $4,000 for an ER visit for a stomach ache, they may choose to go to their family doctor first.
Actually in the US I got a $12,000 bill for "stomach ache" over a Thanksgiving holiday weekend, where they made sure to do an EKG and all of that other stuff to make sure my upset stomach problems weren't in fact a heart attack. The wait for that machine and for the doctor to make his rounds had me in the ER (since doctors offices were closed) for roughly 9 hours.
While the cost in Canada is steep, it's not as steep as the US, nor as out of control.
Many in the US criticise what they call "taxes" and a supposed lack of personal control of funds or choice on health matters or their wallet but don't understand that government already has them by the balls on those anyways. While my ideal system has no government involvement, that's simply not how things are done in the real world, so the next best thing is a cost-controlled system that does what private healthcare systems like that of the US cannot.
Edited by zaibatsu, 16 February 2013 - 05:35 PM.