1) The critics are right: government run health care is a thing to be feared. I see the VA hospital system as an example. My treatment by a VA dentist resulted in permanent damage to my jaw. He was a nice guy, but I'll bet he graduated last in his class and that's why he was drilling for the government.
2) A government run health care delivery system would be vulnerable to political influence in hiring and promotion, supply purchases, location and construction of facilities, maintenance contracts, transplant waiting lists, perhaps even triage.
3) And can we ever forget those rats that infested Walter Reed?
4) But Harry & Louise type critics are disingenuous when they claim that health care reform will insert bureaucrats between the doctor and the patient. The bureaucrats are already there, courtesy of the insurance companies, and they're ever alert to rationales for denying benefits to the sick.
5) If we don't address the problem, health care will bankrupt us. I noticed in my recent out-patient surgery that there were nine profit centers in for a slice: the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, the hospital, the medical laboratory, the hospital pharmacy, the retail pharmacy, my physician and his medical group, Blue Cross-Anthem HMO, and a sub-contractor whose sole function was to process the paperwork. Mind you, in this case there was no assistant surgeon, no imaging or diagnostic testing, no physical therapist, no nurse-practitioner visiting my home, no prosthetics, and no hospital stay, just to name a few items that could have ramped up the cost.
6) I still get solicitations from insurance companies for cockamamie policies that target single diseases, such as certain cancers or "death and dismemberment". Such policies turn insurance into a crapshoot wherein the client bets on how he is most likely to die. They don't tell people that the number one cause of death is heart disease, not cancer, and that the most common debilitating ailment is back injury, not amputation.
7) I have three good friends walking around right now with no insurance and no prospect of ever getting insurance due to pre-existing conditions. I say three, but I fear the real number is much higher. Having no insurance is not something people want known.
Sketch for "The Pharmacist" by Norman Rockwell, 1939. Click on the picture for a closer look.