I haven't read the entire thread, but I can sum my answer to the OP question up in 2 words;
If it were not for this insidious ongoing expense, my wife and I would be out there NOW.
Back in the '60's and '70s access to health services was more of a right than a business. Today, it seems that the opposite is true. Doctors were well paid back then, but insurance companies were not multi-billion dollar per year corporations. On the other hand, I recognize that many of the expensive procedures that are commonplace today were not available. Still, back in the day, the total cost of a visit to a Doctor
is currently charged as a Co-pay.