you bring up a good point, that your paying for some one elses health services. We have free health service here in Aus as well, and yes we do have a small population in comparison to the US and yes we do have our issues ( but imo it has everything to do with mis management from the last government but that's another story...)
but I actually don't mind paying my taxes to have free health care, I believe in free health care. And if we didn't have free health care, I can almost guareentee we'd still be paying off the bill from family who needed hospital care. I could never understand the thinking that if your really sick of somthing, you'd be in debt forever because of it (well maybe not forever, but you get my point right).
Pay higher taxes? yeah, it's a true one, considering I'm probably paying for a smoker to get lung cancer treatment, but I'm willing to take that to know that those who can't afford it can get the treatment they need.
Its funny how you think that he would have not valued it as much if it was free. Because, well for me, if it cured some one I loved, my god I would have valued it no matter the cost xD
though having said all that, Its my aim to get private insurance once I've saved up enough...because I can afford it and it's takes pressure off the public system.
sorry for the wall of text ^___^;;
& good to hear that your mum is better