If by "cheap" you mean "stingy," then certainly. The government never pays what the doctors charge--rather, it only pays what it thinks the going rate should be.
Anyone that thinks govenrment healthcare is a good idea needs to be a VA patient for a year or two. I suffered disc damage in my back while in the service. Predicatably, over the years it has gotten worse to he point where I really can't work a ful day anyomre. IN addition, th epain prevents me from sleeping effectively. I avarage onl 5-25 minutes of REM sleep a day. My condition is surgically reversible. The VA? The VA neurosurgeon said that at my age (53) I would likely be stricken by arthritis soon and blah blah yada yada. Basically, because I was so old that the surgery would be a waste of the government's money. Their solution is to keep me on ever increasing doses of painkillers and let the drugs and insomnia solve the problem of surgical costs for them.Am I bitter? YOU BET. I thought I had a deal with my country when I voluteered and served. Am I the only one? Heck no. I live in a town of 3,500 people in the middel of nowhere Wyoming and their are two other older veterans here that have been treated the same way.SO, the next time you think you need Nanny Sam providing for your every need just remember that the minute the government thinks you have outlived your usefulness they WILL make these kinds of "value" judgements and you will be left to die "comfortably".