I also watched Sicko a while back and I liked it. I was aware of the US health carer system but not the ones in other countries like UK for example. Although Moore put some drama in it with the help of specific examples which may not be 100% right, the general idea is still there. If you wanna get health care in the US you're in bad luck if you're not insured and even then, it might proove difficult to get the insurance companies to pay.
If X company did in fact pay for X person well good for them, one example doesn't make the systeme flawless. Insurance companies throughout the world will indeed try to refuse to pay for any kind of insurance at some point, they're not perfect after all. There are tons of examples where people are having problems with those companies, not only in healthcare, but with every damn insurance available. This is not flawless.
Now, where I live in Canada (province of Quebec more specifically), you don't have to pay for healthcare. The government does, and unlike an insurance company it won't try to check if you are eligible or not or if some clause applies to you. You have your little card with your photo, that's all that matters, no if, no questions, no background check, no wait, you just get it, you don't have to worry about how much it'll cost you.
However, this is not without problems. People will go to the hospital for any dumb reason since it's free making the wait longer than in the US. Also, the government could put more money in it to speed up the process but nearly half our province budget is spent in healthcare. Some doctors get offers elsewhere and decide to go, mostly in the US where they can have better salaries, but on the other hands some will stay because they just hate that US healthcare system claiming it's frustrating not to help someone because they don't have insurance/money to pay.
If you wanna speed up the process however, there's a few private clinics opening now, where you can pay and get healthcare fast. It's still some kind of gray area though, some political parties are for it since hell if you wanna pay go ahead it's your choice after all and it cut shorts waiting in the public system, while other parties are strongly against it because they say only rich people will get descent healthcare. This debate ain't over yet. Some people even go to the US to get treated, kind of ironic when you see US citizens go to Cuba in Moore's film.
Personally I like our system the way it is, not having to worry about the costs, knowing that what matters most is your -LIFE- not the holy dollar. Sure we pay extra taxes to get it but the average joe won't pay much, it's the companies that pay most of the taxes so when a political party tries to scare it's citizen saying universal health care would cost you so much more taxes, it's just a tactic to get their friends with lots of dough not to pay up. They protect their asses, not the people's.
> One of the issues I see in my country is the sheer size of the territory and
> population and the fact that these two are wiiiiiidely diverse, making it very
> hard to create an universal system that encompasses the needs of all citizens.
Well about Canada's size of territory, we're the 2nd largest country in the world next to Russia so I wouldn't care much about that. Can't speak for the population though, we're 33 million and you're almost 200 million people.