""If you have no insurance, you'll pay twice as much as the insurance company
Not necessarily true. Visits are tougher to negotiate, but procedures are not. I have several examples of people I know who negotiated much lower cost because they were willing to pay up front""
You don't have much negotiating power when you have a life threatening condition like appendicitis, pneumonia, peritonitis, etc. Also, it begs the question of people that can't afford even a negotiated price. What do you propose to do with them? Let them die?
""If insurance wasn't regulated, they could do things like drop you if you have a big claim.
Not true. If it was treated like any other ordinary business contract you could make this a term in the agreement. Businesses enter into much more complex contracts every day, so why would this be any different.""
There are other ways for an insurance company to get rid of you. In Washington State, several major insurance companies, including the one we had a policy with, threatened to stop doing business in Washingto. The insurance commission caved, and our insurance premium went from ~$4,000 for a $1000 deductible policy when we were 59 to $7000 when we turned 60, to $10,000 when we were 61, etc until they tried to charge us $18,000 when we were 64. I had to bail and go naked for a year until I qualified for Medicare, but my wife had a pre existing condition and couldn't get new insurance, so we were stuck with $9,000/yr for just her until she qualified for Medicare. It put us at serious financial risk, but we were fortunate enough to have saved enough to make it for those years, barely. Many, many were not so fortunate, and ended up either forgoing necessary treatment, choosing between treatment and food, rent, etc, or joining the line around the block at the nearest emergency ward.
Also, as Jerry mentioned, they can deny your claim, force you to sue, and then tie you up in court until you give up or die. I simply do not see how you can justify this kind of system. We can, and must, do better if we are going to remain a stable, prosperous society. I won't get into the social justice aspects of the question, as the philosophical divide is just too great.
Edited for content below.
I would heartily agree with you on the incremental improvement approach as a way to improve the system were it not in such a mess. We simply cannot afford to have 40 million uninsured people in this country, and counting. I would also add that, IMO, a lot of our health care costs could be eliminated by changes in our education system to include mandatory PE 5 days a week and a required class in nutrition, not to menton cleaning up the almost universally abominable school lunch programs that are a thinly disguised subsidy of the junk food industry.