Uh, last I checked it still was. Until this law. There is no law that requires employers to provide health care. There is a ton of regulation, but it's an insurance industry, what would you expect? And the regulation fails because - wait for it - the FREE MARKET doesn't work for health care. If your insurance company tries to bilk you on their policy for your home that was burnt down, it's pretty cut and dry, and still fairly cut & dry for more complex insurance issues - because the outcomes and risks are, to a large extent, predictable. We know how many hurricanes we'll get on average, how many houses will burn down a year. But medical conditions and treatment are a lot, lot less cut & dry, particularly because we tend to ascribe a different set of values to human life than we do to property.
As for how Europe's doing - it sucks. But the cause wasn't socialism. The cause was the real estate bubble in Spain, and the idiotic policy to create a common currency without a common fiscal policy. As far as I know, their health care systems are all doing just fine and well-funded. The Europeans, about 50 years ago, decided to trade growth for social stability and higher quality of life for the middle and lower classes. Growth gets killed by taxes and business regulations, but the vast majority of people are quite content because they have a higher standard of living than they did before, and arguably higher than most Americans. But don't even get me started on how hard it is to be an entrepreneur in France - I used to argue with my French friends about it all the time. Arguably, any person in the U.S. earning less than $75,000 a year would be better off living in Europe. They would get free health care, free education, and better unemployment benefits. Americans like you have a different value system that's all. Thus far, our political history shows that we prefer the "chance" of riches and severe boom/bust cycles rather than a moderately good lifestyle with systemic unemployment problems and slow growth.
Here's an article on much hated France's health care system.
And you can look up any statistics you like...life expectancy, access to health care, education (though how you define quality is tricky), purchasing power...Where they totally lose is in your chance of being a billionaire. Not bloody likely. But it never really was, was it?
Edited by sluzbenik1, 28 June 2012 - 04:34 PM.