Medicaid and Medicare can be a good thing. It was originally intended a medical supplement to social security. Unless it has the potential to bankrupt the country, as USA Today pointed out in a week-long series in October, 2004. Then it may not be suc a good thing.
But these programs were launched in the mid-1960s, as part of the Great Society. That was as good a time as any to launch "entitlement" programs. America (and most Americans) were flush with cash. An era of social justice also demanded that "no American be left behind." Until the recent economic downturn, that goal had largely, although not entirely, come to pass.
Now, however, health care is one of "several" major issues. Reforming the banking system is a priority. So is the "green" revolution of producing more goods with less pollution. So is job creation. And the latest new Adminstration initiative, to keep homeowners in their homes.
Not having health insurance sucks. But so is being unemployed, or having to declare bankruptcy, or having a house foreclosed on. Life nowadays is full of tough choices. Going without health insurance may be the least of several evils.
Health care may just have to "take a number and get in line." Until other, more immediately pressing problems are dealt with. Or until we get to a new Golden Age like the 1960s, perhaps two to three decades hence.