In the UK we have the NHS http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Health_Service_%28England%29
which provides health care. It is the publically funded health care system. The NHS provides healthcare to anyone normally resident in the UK with most services free at the point of use for the patient though there are charges associated with eye tests, dental care, prescriptions, and many aspects of personal care. Eye tests, dental care, prescriptions and other things though are subsidised and the costs covered for those on benefits or who have low incomes, like young people, the old and students. We have one ambulance service which runs throughout the country, taking whoever needs it to hospital where they will be treated for free, free treatment is also covered by local doctors. The NHS is funded by a taxable amount taken from each working person in the UK, straight from their wages in the form of National Insurance contributions http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_insurance
(national insurance contributions also provide money for benefits in the UK, for the unemployed and sick, they also contribute towards each persons state pension (an amount given by the state to those of pensionable age)) he unemployed as well as the employed are covered by the NHS so everyone in the UK is entitled to the same basic health care. Hospital stays however long, incur no cost for anyone.
So coming to my questions:
1) How does the American health insurance scheme work? I have heard you have to pay or your company pays for an insurance scheme so you can go to hospital and be covered by the scheme, other wise you have to pay for treatment yourself? Is this true, if so how much does it normally cost to be covered?
2) Does your health insurance cover you for all hospitals, or is it just set hospitals who sign up to your insurance provider?
3)I have heard that if you have no or the incorrect type of health insurance ambulances can drive straight past you and dont have to stop, is this true?
4) For the people who cannot afford / do not have health insurance what do they do? Do they just have to suffer? is there free hospitals for them to go to?
5)Do you think a national or at least state health scheme would be a viable idea in the States?
6) If you could change American health care, how would you do it?
As I say I have no experience of the American health care system, so i really don't know how it works. The only coverage I have seen of American hospitals have been on the comedy shows, Family Guy, Simpsons and Scrubs and I doubt they are particulary realistic.
Sorry for the large post but I'm geniunely interested in how it all works