I think this puts the finger on a whole bunch of assumptions which are just being glossed over up in the States. For example: people forget that the fundamental purpose of a health insurance company is not to get you health care. The fundamental purpose of a health insurance company is to make money for the health insurance company. The fundamental purpose of government is to provide a country's inhabitants with the basic structures of civilized life -- and public healthcare is just as much one of those as public schools and public water.
And arguing that private industry is better than government because the government can get conned into paying for $300 toilet seats, is forgetting that private industry are the ones charging the government for $300 toilet seats. The government may be fallible, but they are not inherently out to take as much of your money as they can get away with. I'd rather have at least one player on the field which has a fundamental motive beyond self-interest.
Anyone up there who's terrified of "socialized medicine", in a "keep yer dad-blamed meddling guvmint hands off my Medicare" way, should probably be aware that the health-care system Down Under -- which provides both public and private insurance -- has saved Kate's ass on multiple occasions, and kept us from being financially flattened. It works. It's not perfect, but I feel a hell of a lot more secure down here than I did up there.