Maybe I should note here that I am a 3rd year University Economics student, minoring in politics.
Why is it so important to shrink the gap? What is happening is an expansion of the whole spectrum, the higher portion is just growing faster. The 'pie' is getting bigger, it is better to have a small portion of a massive pie then a large portion of a tiny pie.
Also you guys have to stop thinking in micro terms (yourself) and trying to compare that to macro terms (the country). Stay focused!
With anything a public system dictates the prices and eliminates competition. What this does it provide poor quality.
Private systems with government assistance allows for non-competitive dollars, which inflates prices and decreases quality because there is no need to compete for those dollars.
Completely private systems is what is needed, competition goes up, and because of increased competition prices go down. Thus quality goes up and prices go down.
Sweden has had and still has an elected conservative government for 6 years now.