So one of the arguments I keep hearing against a universal healthcare system is along the lines of "Think of all the red tape we would have. " etc etc. I think one of the main parts that this argument misses is that we already have a ton of red tape. The insurance companies are in the business of minimizing how much they have to pay out, so you have to jump through a ton of hoops to get them to pay you while you pay them.
This is a good example of what the difference between a 'socialized' healthcare system (Britain's) treats a wounded vet versus the privatized healthcare system we have here. Here is a good quote (from a version of the post that is no longer online, unfortunately) that puts the incentives into place:
The government wants to minimize the amount it pays out in benefits. This causes it to give you crap when you ask it for money for an injury incurred on its behalf. The private insurance industry wants to minimize the amount it pays out in benefits. This causes it to give you crap when you ask it for money for an injury you incurred while you were giving them money.
If the purpose of the system were to take care of people's health, though, perhaps there would be a bias in favor of... actually providing healthcare, instead of denying it.
Check it out. It's a good piece and offers some perspective.