In some of the poorest countries in Europe and elsewhere, people have to resort to selling their organs (yes - kidneys, even lungs) to pay for the basics they and their family need to survive. Macabre but true. See the article in today's NY Times at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48008837/ns/world_news-the_new_york_times/?gt1=43001
At the same time, there are those in the United States, hardly one of the worlds hard luck economies, who feel it is offensive, perhaps even treasonous, to consider healthcare a basic service - like public education or a pension system for the elderly. These patriotic folks all have private healthcare insurance of some kind, so it isn't that they want to deny themselves. They want other people to be free of the burden of affordable healthcare. Perhaps this is some kind of punishment for not working hard enough, or getting bad grades in school, or being born into the wrong family, or just being unlucky. Whatever the crime, the penalty is severe. You are to go untreated when you're ill or injured, or have to declare bankruptcy to pay medical bills. Alternatively, you could just die.
The advanced economies of the world have all come up with working, affordable solutions for providing their populations with healthcare. All except the US. For us, it's a matter of principle, of political freedom - we will not succumb to affordable healthcare! We will fight it to our last breath.
Who thinks like that??