On the nineteenth of November, 1945, U.S. President Harry S. Truman stood before the Washington microphones and introduced the concept of Federal health insurance. Eight years later, Dwight Eisenhower publicly dismissed the scheme in a presidential election speech intended to draw voters his way.
There were differences between "Trumancare" and President Obama's brain-child, the main point being that the 1945 version (that never got off of the drawing board) was voluntary. You can click here to learn more about it.
When Canada first dipped their toe into the waters of Socialism they, too, did it with insurance - car insurance. Click here to read about it.