The pensioners on this forum maybe interested to sign this petition to save our Free or partially Free Healthcare in France. See link attached
One could, of course, quibble with the wording. Healthcare may be "free at the point of delivery" but in itself it isn't "free", nor even "low-cost". Somebody has to pay for it. What you are really asking, is for the NHS to agree to keep footing the bill for you.
I'm not saying I don't have sympathy with the cause, but to me it seems disingenous when people talk about "free healthcare" - I wonder if they're really naive enough to believe that healthcare is free, or whether they're trying to convince other people that "it's only a freebie so why make a fuss about it".
I'm not sure that is what the petition requests Anna.
It requests the status quo; that reciprocal healthcare continues after Brexit (if Brexit ever happens). A pensioner with an S1 who is not otherwise covered (under the French system) with an ALD attestation continues to pay for their healthcare in France in the same way any other French person does. The NHS does not keep footing the bill for you per se as you seem to suggest but they do make a contribution to the French Government for each pensioner so covered whether or not the receive treatment.
Conversely AFAIK, a European national legally residing in the UK is accorded the same privileges of access to healthcare "free at the point of delivery" in the same way as a British national residing in the UK does.
Apologies if I misunderstood the intent behind your posting.
Somebody will correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the current arrangement is that where a person is living in France with their healthcare covered by an S1 from the UK, France simply passes on the bill for treatment to the NHS. I believe that many years ago the UK used to pay a flat 'membership fee' per person as you describe but I think that since around 2010 this is no longer the case - unless it's changed back again.
Also, "A pensioner with an S1 who is not otherwise covered (under the French system) with an ALD attestation continues to pay for their healthcare in France in the same way any other French person does" does not paint the full picture because "any other French person", or indeed a Brit without an S1, pays cotisations based on income, via an annual bill from URSSAF, which a UK pensioner with an S1 doesn't pay. For most people in France, the "co-payment" is only half the story, the other half of the story being the ongoing cotisations to be entitled to the carte vitale in the first place.
There does seem to be some confusion here. The petition really should explain exactly what the current position is so that people know exactly what they're asking for, ie what "free healthcare" actually involves.