Or there would have been a solution a long time ago.
First of all, the idea that the U.S., with a higher proportion of illegals than anywhere else in the industrialized west, can afford to insure 12 million extra folks is a joke. We can't do it. Particularly not when we have some 12,000 miles of borders and coastlines we couldn't close off if our lives depended on it. It is a genuine problem that mexicans routinely come to American emergency rooms, knowing they can't be turned away, so they can get medical care or to have their children, who automatically become U.S. citizens when born in the U.S.
So comparing the U.S. to say Germany or France isn't an apples to apples proposition.
Also, for all our constitutional protections, which I think are superior to just legal tradition, the Constitution and the case law it engenders also present problems.
You can't just nationalize private property in the U.S., nor can you force someone to work only under for a government agency. And sadly, you can't stop giant corporate interests from having unequal access and influence over politicians. Not without amending the constitution's 1st amendment, which isn't gonna happen.
When people talk about government-run medicine in the the U.S., they tend to immediately think of the British system, which frankly is awful.
This just gets compounded by the deliberate lies and misdirections of very powerful interests who
benefit from the status quo. Looking at the U.K. as the "only" solution is to ignore vastly superior systems which would fit the U.S. a lot better.But the U.K. comparison is mostly the one that gets made, and it scares the proles to death.
Most people have *some* kind of coverage, sometimes awesome, sometimes seriously lacking. But the 40 million or so uninsured are also people at the very bottom of the ladder in all the political terms that matter. These are the folks who always get screwed, whether its criminal justice or fair wages, or health care. I doubt there's likely to be a change in those facts any time soon.
Historically, health care in the U.S. was comparatively cheap and accessible. Even those without insurance were able to get decent care for a modest fee. I know this, because my grandparents, once they got kicked out of China by Mao, practiced general medicine and general surgery in the midwest, and never had a pot to piss in, because they routinely accepted chickens, eggs or yard work for their services. This was actually not uncommon until well after WW2.
But things change. Medical procedures, as they became more complex, cost more to perform, life-saving new machinery came about which added a lot of costs, and the big killer for doctors: malpractice insurance became not only a necessity, but the price sky-rocketed.
The U.S. pays about three times what anyone else does for health care. And if you have a decent insurance policy, the care you get, and the waiting time involved, is much better than the average in countries with a state-run system. Of course the problem is that it doesn't provide any coverage at all for 40 million americans, and provides shitty coverage for a lot more.
It's the American way. If you have money, it's terrific. If you're struggling, you're screwed. Noblesse Oblige is a totally unknown concept in the U.S. and solidarity among the people is considered some kind of blasphemy. It's just a part of the American identity, and all the wishing in the world won't change it.
Americans in general don't view health care as a "right." So to think you could get political support for covering illegals with anything other than say free vaccinations, is a fantasy.
The good news is that there has been a lot of improvement to the system over the last 15 years. Coverage has been expanded substantially, particularly for mental illness and children. The Massachusetts plan actually appears to be working, with people required to have their own health insurance, with employers paying part or most of the cost, and low-income people being subsidized by taxpayers so they can afford it.
The costs are finally starting to hit people who AREN'T poor and powerless, which is why the issue is gaining traction. And of all the problems in the U.S., I'm more confident this one will get a reasonable solution than I am about most things.
But as for illegal aliens? Give me a break. It's not going to happen.
***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***