1. Yes, contrary to your beliefs, I actually HAVE studied this stuff, including the healthcare bill. AND, I grew up in a socialist country, so I recognize the signs when I see it in a way that may be difficult for someone who hasn't experienced it.
2. If you believe the 'hybrid' systems work, you simply have not done your homework. UK & France & Canada's state funded options are quickly heading towards bankruptcy (as is ours, naturally). For example, here's a typical article, quoting the president of the Canadian Medical Association saying their system is imploding:
The Canadian Press: Overhauling health-care system tops agenda at annual meeting of Canada's doctors
As is typical, of course, they will recognize the symptoms and not the disease, so there are no realistic suggestions for a cure within that article.
Most importantly, they are increasing the denial of care to the critically ill and seniors (expanded below).
3. The NHS only works for one thing: GPs. Thats why they have some of the highest paid GPs in the world. But if you need a specialist or if you're old and terminally ill, good luck. The State simply doesn't see the bang for the buck in spending large amounts of taxpayer money on you. The GP availability Vs critical care failure is not a worthwhile tradeoff. Thats why you will also see far more advanced and widely available specialist care in the US than in Europe/ Canada.
4. There is no need to 'subsidize' medical students or medical schools. There are plenty of market incentives for their numbers to increase, but there are many artificial barriers preventing that increase due mostly to regulation. For example, there is no reason why medical school should be a graduate program, when it is an undergraduate program in most of the world. The graduate school requirement exists simply to increase the entry barrier into the field and REDUCE the number of doctors, so as to increase the average pay. (BTW, likewise for law school). The government needs to simply get out of the way of the market, and new medical students/ schools will mushroom all over, with no cost to the taxpayer.
5. There are countries where the suggestions I've outlined have been implemented, to great success. The best example I can offer is India, where due to the govt having very limted funds, there is an almost completely free-market approach to medicine. As a result, access to care is cheap, widely available, and doctors go to fewer years of school (no meaningless undergrad degree before med school), have a wide variety of med schools to pick from, and make less money than US counterparts, but also invest less than them in their education.
Here's a detailed and well researched article, that is accurate based on my extensive personal experience:
Hit & Run > A Different Sort of Health Care System - Reason Magazine
As for statuesquechica - I stand corrected, you need to work on your P as well as your T. Honestly, you might also want to spend a little more time either running a business (check!) or formally studying microeconomics (check!), to understand the competition killing effects (both implicit and eventually explicit) of a 'public option'. Here's a hint: how's that US Postal Service 'public option' working out for you? Or, I don't know... AMTRAK?