There is no such thing as 'free health care'.....we pay dearly in taxes for our universal health care.
It works fairly well, here (even though I know many Americans here seem to think they know better how well it works here in Canada, and claim it doesn't work at all- who you gonna believe, several of us, or an American?
Sure, it has some problems, but every survey done comes up with the same result- the majority of us would not trade it for a private system- that means liberals and conservatives alike- most agree, they want it to stay the way it is.
That said, our system as it is here would not work well in the US, I don't think. It is ingrained in our culture, has been for decades, people accept it and expect it now, there is no objections to the system and no resistance- that is huge.
There are many other reasons why it works; there are enough taxpayers in the higher brackets, our health spending costs per citizen is lower than the USA's, we DO have fewer illegal immigrants, and a lesser percentage of people living below the poverty line.
Personally the only thing I would do differently is change the laws so more private clinics, for elective procedures only paid by the patient, could open up and take the strain off the regular system. It would reduce some of the waiting times (which vary throughout the country).
I have no problem with the idea of Joe Blow who makes good money and can afford to 'jump the queue' and get his hip surgery ahead of Jim Bob who makes not much money at all. What is wrong with that? Then they both get their needed surgeries sooner. That is a good
Emergency procedures would of course remain under the universal system. Some provinces have started moving this way already I think.