That is true and it manifests in your society in many paradoxical actions - on a local, personal level as well as on a global, geopolitical level. I don't want to elaborate because that will only invite hate speech. A rather harmless one: Freedom is (as I understand it) one of the american key values - yet you have the world's highest prison population, even higher than russia, which has plenty of political prisoners.
Culturally, Americans value freedom over social justice -- at least traditionally. As a result, Americans don't tend to rely on their government to express their moral or ethical beliefs - separation of subjective morality (i.e. church) and state runs deep here.
So, for instance, the US, on a GDP basis, gives less than some countries in foreign aid at the government level but when you add in private charity, the US dominates, by far, the overall charitable giving internationally.
Historically, transferring wealth or property from one individual to another has been done voluntarily on a per person level and has resulted in a great deal of generosity. Americans, after all, aren't going hungry, quite the opposite.
But with freedom comes responsibility. American governments - state and local, are much more vigorous in enforcing laws than other countries. And what I mean by that, before anyone gets their hackles up, is that a lot of crimes in the US result in jail time where in other countries they would be ignored. For example, a huge portion of the US prison population is in there for drug related charges. In Europe or Russia those same charges would likely be at the equivalent of a misdemeanor.
Regarding rationalization of the confiscation of property:
I suppose you hint at communism? Is that what a public option sounds like to you? Taxing is confiscating property?
I'm not hinting at communism at all. What I am saying is that when people advocate for welfare programs paid for by taxes in which the beneficiaries are not some small group but rather nearly half the population what they are really doing is making it easy for people to rationalize supporting the government confiscating other people's property (money is property after all) to give to them.
For example, on the issue of health care, a tax-payer based system means that 40% of the population would suddenly be getting something paid for by the other 60% (because of the way tax credits and deductions work on US federal income taxes, anyone who earns less than around $35,000 pays little or no taxes, especially if they have a child).
Most people would feel shame going from house to house in their neighborhood begging for money to pay for their pills or doctor visits but when we start to frame health care as a moral "right" suddenly these same people can accept supporting programs that are really about them getting something from someone else -- and even demonize those who object to paying up.
What I'm not sure about is if you have private insurance you don't have to pay the extra health care tax - like in germany.
Whether you use the public "option" or not you will still be taxed to pay for it. The public option is paid for by taxes. The people who would, for starters, be getting that public option are, by definition, people who fall into that 40% of the population who pay no net federal income taxes (or virtually none).
It'll be like public schools where you pay taxes for it whether you use it or not.
Everyone can ask himself this question: How many Little Match Girls are you willing to save?
Match girls already qualify for Medicaid.
HR 3200 isn't about providing health care to poor people. They already get it today. It's called Medicaid.
A lot of people who debate this tend to be non-Americans so they don't realize that the United States already spends BILLIONS a year providing health care the poor (not just hospitals but prescriptions, doctor visits, etc.).
HR 3200 presently would cover those who don't currently qualify for Medicaid which is largely those who could easily afford it, illegal aliens, and around 10 million of people who, due to pre-existing conditions, would have to pay what most would consider an unreasonably high amount for health insurance.