Then, that asshole Nixon came along an at the behest of congress, passed the HMO act. Took even more control of health care. Made it mandatory that every employer provide an HMO in addition to the plans they were already providing. Took away the right for states to say that an insurance plan was crap; all federal plans are good enough, no state needs to give any more scrutiny. Suddenly, millions of americans were thrown to the wolves of medical committees deciding patient choice, because there was pretty much no way out any more. Yes, employers could offer a "choice", but it was usually just easier to throw everyone to the HMO and forget about it. Less paperwork that way.
And now, we're stuck in the situation we have now. Government's twisted and mangled health care to the point where saying we have a free market system is an outright lie. We can't plan, we can't save, we can't break out because your government, the same people you want to entrust to fix things, has broken you. The federal government has made you sick and you expect them to make you better? That's like expecting your local crack dealer to help you with your addiction. We won't get better until the federal government gives people back the tools they need to manage their lives. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening here.