That Medicare A&B is equivalent to Canadian coverage seems a widely believed truth - but it's false. Descriptions of what is covered by Medicare A&B closely matches what the Canadian system offers, including not meds. Canada has med cost support programs for people whose income is very low, and has a fairly decent tax deduction for those who pay taxes and also wrack up med costs over a year. A supplemental program is avail in Canada to support dental and vision needs, which is affordable for most and is often part of a pay package.
I lived, worked, and was enrolled in the British Columbia's system through employment for nearly 40 years. On retirement, in BC, in 2014, I'd have paid a small premium, $62.50/mo CDN$. (Not all provinces charge a premium). For that BC premium I'd have access to 100% no deductible, no co-pay physician consultation, diagnostic tests, treatments for any/all conditions in or out of hospital, including physio or other recovery programs. I moved back to the states in 2005. I'd worked in the US as a youth, teen, young adult but had not accumulated 40 quarters. Until the housing crash I worked to close the difference but only got to 34 quarters before suitable employment opportunity (in my extremely rural, low economic activity region) ran out. I'd inquired at a local office about access to Medicare when I arrived and - I think due to unusual situation and local lack of contact with any seniors but those with 'normal' work histories - I was told "must have 40 quarters". It was 2014 before, on my own, I stumbled across info that I could buy into Medicare even if short of quarters. But by then I'd missed my 'sign up window' by several years.
SO! I pay $420/mo USD, for A&B Medicare which are similar but by no means 'the same as' what I'd have in Canada. As a Medicare A&B I'm subject to a deductible (can't recall if it's for A or B) and in both A and B I have co-pays. Furthermore, if I need and use them (mostly B so far) I get tons of mail about it - both co-pay bills for me to pay and Medicare itemized "here's what you've had done and here's what we paid" statements. In 40 years in Canada I did not receive any such mail. Not one piece! Actually, my dental in Canada was similar to US health care and I don't think I even got a dental statement - my dentist's office did all the paper work, I wrote a cheque to cover what the dental program did not pay but wrote it to the dental office.
Oh, my premium monthly total includes penalty fees for late enrollment: "10% for each premium for 2x the years late enrollment"; one of them (I think A) will eventually be reduced when I've paid my penalty long enough (providing I live to that time) - the other penalty is "forever until you die". (They don't say 'until you die' but obviously = we're talking senior health care here!!)
There's more: I recently had a routine blood test but was reminded by my Dr that we'd have to make sure it was not even one day less than a full year from last year's test or I'd likely get stuck with a $3-400.00 lab bill. In other words, Medicare is similar to for profit care in the US in that it's got restrictions about when it will pay and by how much. (In Canada the labs that did these tests, as well as physio centers, were within the system and were not for-profit as is the case with labs here.)
The Canadian system certainly has its 'warts'. One that is also the case in the US is service to rural regions - there can be a shortage of GPs and specialists. But access to larger centers, even if distance is great, is built into the Canadian system. (Travel and lodging can be pricey but is often avail by non-profit service agencies that operate lodgings for just that need, and costs as with meds can be met or eased via special funding or tax deductions.)
Since my income is very modest (but not quite modest enough for Medicaid which has other objectionable issues even when available) I pay my way for A&B but cannot afford parts C and D.
As I write this your post on your kidney stone costs is right above my composition section ... the last line I can read is "Medicare paid less than $5K because (it) only pays the ... approved amount." That's quite a bill!!! (meaning the $$ left for you to pay) And would not be the case with the Canadian system, at least as late as 2014 when I last researched it. I think the general sense of 'community commitment' is quite different in the broad cultures of the two nations.
I think may be you and I would agree on much but I've made it a bit of a 'thing' to speak up when I catch references to A&B being 'similar to Canada', so that's my main point here.