Recently the US has passed a healthcare reform bill. I can't claim to understand it, but from what I can tell, it makes a fucked up system worse, if that's possible.
One of the things it does is *forces* you to have health insurance. If you don't have health insurance, you have to pay an extra tax - several thousand dollars a year, afaik. That's just insane, but there you go.
One good thing (I think) it does though is make it illegal for health care providers to refuse you cover if you have pre-existing conditions. (I mean, who doesn't have pre-existing conditions?!) I'm not sure if it lets them charge you an outrageous premium for this.
(I could be totally wrong about all this. In fact, I probably am. If you can picture an authoritative source on all this ... I am not that.)
I've said it before and I'll say it again: one of the many absurdities of the american healthcare system is how it's all called "insurance", even for the most routine healthcare things. Do you take out "insurance" against having to service your car?