My wife and I were covered by several private health insurance programs for many decades before being covered by Medicare for the past 11 years. Medicare is far superior to any of those private programs.
Under those programs we often had our choice of doctors limited. In some cases we had to resort to assistance from the state Attorney General's Office for payment resolution, and often the documentation we received was unusable. With Medicare we have never had a problem with doctor choice, bill payment or documentation we receive. And Medicare has no investors, wealthy executives or lobbyists to pay.
As to Medicare's cost to taxpayers, most of that could be cured by eliminating fraud and unnecessary procedures and prescriptions, and by insisting that people take better care of themselves. Medicare, with its considerable deductibles and Social Security deductions, so far has cost my wife and me much more than we benefit, but ironically that is fortunate for us.
The current debate over health care insurance reform demonstrates how opponents of any proposed government program need only call it "socialism" to kill it. Our most indispensable government programs, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, are socialistic. So what? Some things, like health insurance, public education and national defense, should be "socialized." Less important things can be left to the more risky private sector. The only thing we have to fear are the fear mongers.