Finally! Some real dialogue here! Thank the lord even though I'm an agnostic atheist ... (should tell anybody how desperate I am to look for open ended discussion)
Sorry if I did generalize about "your side" viewing private health entities as generally being harmful and yes the price of medicine (particularly some of the new and lead edge patented ones) are not ideal and I guess America could work to improve that by introducing a 2 tiered system to medicaid (medicare for all is nothing more than a distant dream) to improve coverage such as providing visits to only to general practitioners, only being able to use unpatented generics along with deciding whether to apply deductibles to other health services or not depending on the cost which means that Americans would now have a 3 tiered health system and I too realize the value in providing more cover or higher access but we have to stop spooking the truly hardline experts in medicine so much to be able to keep their talent so that they can afford to teach prospective medical students to pass the talent around to make highly specialized or personalized care more accessible in the future ...
We also need to learn to respect all sorts of intellectual properties. If the majority of us here respect the concept of copyright then it should not be so foreign to accept the of having a mini monopoly on drugs through patents ... (pharmaceutical companies often only have around 10 years to potentially profit off of it's development sometimes maybe even less once a patent expires and generics come into pricture)
Most of the pharmaceutical state owned enterprises don't sound at all like their competitors to global giants such as Johnson & Johnson, Roche, Pfizer or Novartis so I get the impression most of the time that national health care providers with a single payer system in these countries just use collective bargaining (price control in it's purest form) against these giants to pay for medicine in bulk at reduced rates but America is swept under the rug in the process bearing the brunt (70% profit = America) of producing these leading edge treatments ...
Price controls hinders medical research and drug supply in practically any case and just because 11 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies are located outside the US does not mean that most of the drugs are not initially and majorly developed inside the US either. There's a reason why lot's of foreign firms out there make acquisitions or partner with American firms to either gain access to the market or the facilities. FDA is noticeably quicker than the EMA to approve drugs too so leading edge drugs like Kymriah are still the bread and butter of the US market despite having some of it's development from the outside ... (many smaller companies like Spark Therapeutics being an extremely promising American startup that's only five years old benefit too by already getting FDA approval for it's cure to a progressive blindness disease)
I genuinely believe if everybody could just invest more (and not just leave it to America) that we could soon have a hard cure to many life afflicting and chronic conditions such as from common cancers, to HIV or diabetes ...
A potential way we could get more direct funding to the R&D operation itself is if we just have the government shopping around for whichever entities (whether private or state owned) to secure the licensing and production rights instead but it does beg the question if any governments are willing to pay to pioneer access to treating rare diseases or conditions ?
Absolutely, I think it is naive to think that the US simply could adopt a European-style system of healthcare since that wouldn´t take into account that the US has a different structure altogether compared to my country of Sweden. Also, here in Sweden we actually have both public and private options in the healthcare sector, although the private entities receive their funding from the government. So they are more like the Charter School version of healthcare I guess =).
When it comes to these matters it often becomes very onesided where the different sides seem way to absolute in their stances. The end result might be a solution in between, where american citizens from one state can buy into the medicare system for a period of time and then the government evaluates the results. Because there is no reason to forbid any private entities, just let Medicare compete along side them and I believe the system would equalize after a period of time.
The idea you raise in the end is an interesting one and I think it´s very, VERY important that the political discussion doesn´t focus on demonizing private entities. The blame for the problems that are right now in the american healthcare system are mostly a result of the political body of the country.