According to the CBO, thirty million will continue to be uninsured under ObamaCare (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/obamacare ... 00173.html
), I don't know what percentage of Americans that represents and another 12 million illegal aliens will be uninsured. That really isn't universal coverage.
Under the previous system, over 80% of Americans had insurance, at least before the recession. The vast majority of them were happy with it. People who think the government care will avoid the problem of insurance companies denying care have obviously never dealt with government provided care. I have, extensively and there are more things not covered than under any insurance program I have every had. Having employers provide most of the insurance wasn't ideal but on the other hand, it didn't work that badly. I don't know how many people chose not to have insurance when they could have taken steps to obtain it but it's pretty substantial in my world and I have read that it's a large percentage in the macro world but don't have those figures or know where they came from when conservatives quote them.
Profound suffering has occurred with people who would have purchased insurance if they could but were unemployed temporarily and either couldn't afford COBRA (for non Americans, employers are required to continue to offer coverage for 18 months but the unemployed person has to pay the premium) or their COBRA ran out and they may have had pre-existing conditions and were unable to obtain it in the market. For myself, I always tried to live in such a way that I could afford coverage under
COBRA but I always assumed I'd get another job which didn't happen when my coverage ran out and I didn't qualify even for a very large deductible insurance. So, there were problems but I'm not sure smaller entities couldn't have covered as much a percentage of those uninsured under the previous system or a smaller involvement of government than Obama care could have worked. Perhaps when a person was unemployed they could have some sort of temporary help from the government.
There is also the issue of the lack of sufficient physicians to treat the newly insured and there isn't much the government can do about it. I think one advantage of the Canadian system is that is covers the big things pretty well but there's a fair amount of evidence that it doesn't cover the small things as well. For instance, in some provinces, there are 8 psychiatrists for 100,000 people. Not that mental health is a small thing but I mean by big things the sort of problems that result in devastation for families.
I have said before that I have access to regular care for a relatively small amount of money and it's excellent care with top doctors, especially my psychiatrist who has high positions in the various hospitals he has worked in and my pain man. That care comes from a combo of doctors giving me breaks and drug companies supplying expensive drugs. If something big happens, I can get care from any hospital until I'm stable whether that means overnight care or weeks. As a poor person, it wouldn't break me because I would file BK. But it would break people with enough assets to cover the bill. Though it seems likely the majority could also file BK. It's not true that you can never get credit after a BK though I do acknowledge that it is a difficult choice and not the ideal situation. But again, government can perhaps step in, in a limited way. The husband of a friend of mine surpassed his million dollar limit on his insurance with a devastating illness that kept him in ICU for months. He received top notch care from a top notch hospital and special, emergency help was obtained though medicaid to continue to care for him. His wife continues to live in their home and has not been financially wiped out. So, there are options.