Re: "That includes free/cheap being a temporary illusion,"
A national health service is just about the only viable and effective way to provide one. If it is private you effectively get held to ransom over your health. How much are you willing to pay to carry on living a worthwhile existence with full mobility and a functioning body? Politicians (and people like the OP of the "socialist" rant) don't seem to get how the main things a society (and economy) needs are healthy, educated workers and a minimal legal framework within which everyone can operate. Minimal because things will find a natural equilibrium provided abuse (or lobbying) is not tolerated.