Show me a model, anywhere in the world, where socialized medicine is working well. You can't; which is why we need reform rather than jumping in with both feet.
I agree with you.
And no I can't show you anywhere that socialism is working "well". I think what reasonable lefties would say, with some justification, is that ours is working (in some aspects - not all) especially poorly. In particular lefties can point to specific inefficiencies in our current (half-assed socialist) system, which arguably could be locally improved (even if the end result still wouldn't be all that great).
The "poor people relying on emergency rooms" phenomenon is an example.
Here's a salient quote from the Japanese government:
Along with the improvements in living standards and better nutrition, the health insurance system has contributed in achieving levels of average life expectancy of the Japanese people and healthy life expectancy that are amongst the highest in the world. In addition, the health insurance system has also created an outstanding health and medical service which was indicated as the best in the world by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Average life expectancy has remained the highest in the world. In 2003, it was 85.33 years for women and 78.36 years for men. The infant mortality rate fell to 3.0 per 1,000 live births in 2003.
I don't know of any Japanese (many of whom certainly could afford it) coming to the U.S. for medical treatment.
However, it is an expensive system, on par with our own, though less expensive than the Canadian/U.K. systems (which in my opinion, seem to try to offer minimal service at a maximal cost.) Here is a good quote from the same page about the future economics of the system:
In recent years, Japan's social security system has fallen under close examination due to such factors as rapidly changing demographics resulting from the falling birthrate and aging population, and long-term stagnation of the economy. In terms of social security costs, benefits and burdens are projected to increase far beyond the level of economic growth, and revision and creation of a sustainable system have become urgent issues to deal with the increasingly heavy social security burden predicted in the future.
Japan is a wealthy country, and for the present can afford such a gold-plated solution, though there are legitimate questions about what to do as the population grays. My personal experience with the system is that is indeed as excellent as their government and WHO indicate.
My experience has also been that the Japanese payment system certainly was simple enough to navigate, unlike trying to deal with the "insurers" in the U.S. who in my experience seem oddly reluctant to pay on claims against them, though happy enough to charge extortionate premiums.
As you might guess, Japanese medical technology is first-rate; anecdotally, I have heard a Japanese medical technician remarking that typical medical equipment in the U.S. is not as far advanced as what is typical in Japan.