Perhaps I do not understand the Canadian system. Maybe you are allowed to CHOOSE if you want to be part of that program. Tell me if that is an option for a Canadian citizen to refuse payment for and participation the Provincial Health program
First: health care costs are paid largely out of general taxation. There are some provinces with specific health insurance levies but even those are very small.
So, if you refuse to participate in a Provincial plan, you aren't returned any portion of your taxes. You might only save $30 or $40 a month in some provinces.
Second: Doctors may opt out of the plan and charge for their services separately. But they can't charge separately AND participate in the plan.
Third: Private insurance for medically necessary hospital and physician services is illegal in 6 of the 10 provinces. Nonetheless, a significant private sector has not developed in any of the 4 provinces that do permit private insurance coverage. The absence of a significant private sector is probably best explained by the prohibitions on the subsidy of private practice by public plans, measures that prevent physicians from topping up their public sector incomes with private fees.
Mostly measures have been taken so that doctors can't try to set up a two tier practice, allowing those willing to pay higher fees to jump the queue.
So Doctors must choose one or the other. And since the market for private payment is almost non-existent, doctors don't pursue that angle. The handful of people who are willing to pay exorbitant fees to jump the queue become medical tourists. There aren't many.
So lets compare how free you are versus the average Canadian.
Go to any GP in the country? yes in Canada. No for most insurance plans in US
All services and fees covered for any prescribed treatments? yes in Canada. Not in US. Your insurance company decides whats covered....(usually some clerk) . And often results in convoluted and expensive debates between the doctor/patient and the insurance company.
choice to participate or not? In Canada you can choose to pay direct, but you aren't compensated for that... In the same way medical tourists aren't able to claim much for services rendered abroad.
(Emergency care abroad is paid for by the provincial fee schedule often, so most Canadians travelling in the US have private travel insurance.) In the US, many have no insurance, some by choice, or choose plans that offer little in the way of actual coverage. I believe this is choosing to risk medical bankruptcy for an immediate savings ..... Bully.
So how free are you in comparison Bbauska? Please be specific.
And importantly, this supposed freedom comes at what cost? A medical system that costs more than twice what Canada's does per ca-pita ...with far poorer average results..