The thing about Government provided healthcare is that it provides licence for the government to meddle in all areas of our lives. Government interventions in smoking, bike helmets, salt, sugar, trans-fats, activity, and more can all justified on the grounds of minimising direct health spending.
If nothing else, one must appreciate the bureaucratic logic, worthy of Sir Humphrey Appleby that requires that more money needs to be spent on various health related programs so that less money can be spent on direct health. There is also the Scott Morrison like logic that citizens need to be taxed and controlled lest they do themselves injury and are unable to work, thus affecting national productivity.
But it is not just about the taxing and spending. It is about the diminution of liberty and choice whereby a bureaucrat in a far distant office can tell every single Australian what they can and cannot do. European Union like.
What we currently have in Australia (and many countries for that matter) is essentially a mess with layer upon layer of kludges to deal with political issues du jour. Possibly because the other thing about Government provided healthcare is that it does not need to be government provided. Health vouchers anyone?
What we have now is not a health system but rather a medical system – a system of payments to the medical industrial complex who are remunerated on activity (visits, operations, beds) and not on outcomes (life expectancy, mortality, life quality).
It is a mindset thing. Every politician speaks of investing in hospitals and Medicare, but never investing in patients and citizens. This needs to change, but not with our current political overlords.