@R3sistance: Actually, pure capitalism *is* the answer. With all the large corporations vying for monopolies these days, capitalism isn't very strong. Is socialism the answer? Well, only if the "single payer" entity is run by competent people. In reality, it's typically a Dilbertian PHB or CEO in charge of such an entity. So if Joe Consumer had other options, he could theoretically find a more competent provider, or become a provider himself. It sounds to me like you have issues with monopolies, not with true capitalism. Socialism is a government-instituted monopoly, run by the same ilk as the IRS or your local DMV, destined for failure every bit as much as a private monopoly.
Heh, surprised people are voting these comments down, I suppose some people have issues with hard truths of this world. HMOs don't work, they are just parasites and I feel the real fear that PHB has is he didn't think being a leech himself that he could get caught out by a parasite.
What are you, R3sistance, some kind of Goddam Commie? I should have thought you would have known that where all healthcare is provided by the State, people have no choice but to die as a result of clinical negligence. Where there is a free market in healthcare, they have the choice of dying as a result of clinical negligence, or because they can't afford to see a doctor in the first place.