Other countries have a program that is largely health-maintenance directed, Canada being a prime example. Numerous Canadians come down to the US to have surgery done, as the Canadian system is backlogged and slow to respond.
Medicine is another example; many countries have much lower costs for medications than the US. That leaves a bit of a Hobson’s choice; pharmaceutical companies in the US have extremely high research costs as there is no guarantee that any medication developed will reach market. Other countries may not have as extensive and as regulated a process for bringing a medication to market.
So we could relax the process of approval of medications, but the counter argument is that it would allow medications not fully vetted to reach market (and you may not be old enough to remember the tragedies over the use of thalidomide, which currently is sued in treatment of some cancers, but when used to treat morning sickness caused major deformities to the child in the womb.
Another argument about the cost of medications are that we have what are termed “boutique drugs”, for medical issues which are not life threatening. Those who benefit from them might have an argument about not allowing research and development of these drugs - I will leave that to others.
I have a friend in my parish who has been stage 4 cancer to well over 2 years. He is currently taking a drug which I believe may still be in final trials, and at this point he is the longest surviving individual in the US. the cost of the drug is basically $40,000 per dose - that is forty thousand dollars each dose.
Doses are weekly. You do the math. And then you can tell me if his life is worth it (he still has a business, sole owner, which he actively runs).
One of the driving forces, among many others, is our tort system, which has allowed multi-million dollar judgments for what patients claim as damages. I say “claim” because often the case is fairly clear that someone or several someones screwed up in the treatment of the patient. We could argue all day and all night into the next century and not come to an agreement as to how that should be handled. Other countries do not have an identical tort system, and may not have as litigious a society as we have. On the other hand, if a doctor, nurse, or combination have either caused the death of someone in your family, what would you do?
The issues go on and on. Much of what occurred with the ACA was and is driven by the inclusion of those with pre-existing conditions, some of whom could not get coverage before they got to that point; and some of whom would not get coverage (called “gaming the system”).
The Socialists are proposing Medicare for all. Only one state has actually attempted that - Vermont; and when they looked at the cost, they had a change of mind and heart. California recently proposed it; their estimate (which any wise person would bet was way too low) was $400,000,000 per year. Their state budget, for perspective, was @ $170,000,000. But they would “find a way to do it”. The estimate nationwide would be about $30,000,000,000,000 in ten years (that is 30 trillion).