I think a way to help fix just how much health care (especially for the VA) costs, would be to implement a type of the student loan forgiveness that teachers who go to specific districts get.
You get your medical degree, pass all your tests, and then work 5 years at a VA facility for say $15-20/hr and at the end of your 5 years, your student loans are forgiven and you're free to go into private practice. Or, you go do whatever you want, and pay your loans back like everyone else. That way, you get experience, and the government gets reasonably priced doctors.
IMHO, for-profit HMOs and insurance is the whole reason health care is so expensive. My friend is a podiatrist, and routinely does two things to minimize costs to his patients- if they have insurance and no real means, he will take what insurance pays and sometimes write off the rest. Or, if they don't have insurance but have some skill that can help the Dr., he is happy to barter and trade medical care for labor. His entire septic system was put in as payment for medical services rendered, plus materials. He lives in the woods, and has a patient that runs a sawmill. When he wants to make a new piece of furniture, he calls the sawmill guy who comes out and cuts the tree down and turns it into lumber.
It's the business side where money ruins local relationships like this.