I had typed a nice long response yesterday, but had trouble connecting with splitcoast. Anyway, I just want to say how very blessed I feel to be living in Canada where we have universal health care. Our taxes are higher as a result, but still manageable. I was also blessed to have a job that covered insurance for dental, drugs, etc. Now that I am retired, I can opt into the seniors drug plan for $100 a year, but seeing as I am not on any medication, I haven't taken advantage of that yet. I couldn't imagine going into retirement with a $20,000 health care debt.
Although my pension is small, if I live carefully, I can probably budget for a couple of trips/year to see the grandkids in Texas. I used to come here 4 times a year, but now I will come less times and stay longer....after all, my lodging will be free!