To me, you are mixing up two things. First, the government is not going to provide the health care, just pay for it. The government has provided health care directly to veterans for years. My Dad is a veteran and gets care through the VA. No one is proposing to expand the VA to cover the entire country, just Medicare as a way to pay for the care. There is a big difference. The VA is not all bad by the way. My Dad has some health issues and has been well cared for by the VA.
The second thing that you (and others) are commenting on is the idea that everyone should get the best care. I put that in fully to bait responses as I feel that is the crux of the issue of the cost of health care, not how health care is paid for. Right now, that is the system, nothing but the best for everyone. Any politician who even suggests changing that will get cat calls of rationing and death panels but that is ultimately going to need to be part of the solution. I don't know how you go about determining when a cost is warranted and when not (for example, an expensive cancer treatment that extends the life for 3 months or 6 months) but if we don't figure it out, health care will bankrupt the country eventually.
I'm probably not being very clear. I agree the government will not directly run the hospitals - but if they are paying the for the services then they will dictate - what, where and when.
I think the crux of the entire HC issue is who is paying, which was my initial argument in this thread. Be it private or public insurance, when someone else pays - the only concern is getting the best - not making value judgements like we do for every other service we purchase. This IMO is the primary reason for HC costing so much. HC insurance should only be for emergencies only. If you want to control cost, the only way to do it is to make the consumer responsible for evaluating, selecting and paying for their consumption.
I have worked for the VA and it is maddening how wasteful, inefficient and political it is compared to working for private sector operations. Being a government entity, every action and decision there takes longer and adds costs because of all the restrictions, regulations and directives that aren't applicable to private sector. Public insurance/HC will absolutely cost more do to this built in inefficiency.
Addtionally, because the VA pays below market rates, it struggles to get doctors and has to contract services in from private sector (at a premium).