America’s Long and Troubled History of Healthcare Reform

America’s Long and Troubled History of Healthcare Reform

The healthcare industry brings together so many amazing things. As future medical professionals, we often think about the altruistic side of things – the saving of lives and the healing of the sick. However, we also have to remember that healthcare is indeed an industry, which makes it a lot more complicated. Hospitals, clinics, and essentially all other healthcare centers are businesses, and the government definitely has a huge impact on the ways in which they can be run. Our legislative and executive branches have worked on healthcare reforms fairly consistently since the nineteenth century, when a bill was first brought forward regarding how the state should handle those with disabilities. On this particular issue, both houses of Congress passed the bill, but it was ultimately vetoed by President Franklin Pierce. Ever since then, our federal government has experienced similar issues. The disunity between the branches of government, combined with frequent changes of administration have created huge hurdles for anyone hoping to pass healthcare reforms.

Take for instance President Bill Clinton. He was elected to his office with very ambitious plans to change the American healthcare system. His efforts were extremely admirable, but not necessarily handled in the best possible manner. He was very aggressive in his approach, setting out to submit a healthcare reform to Congress in just one hundred days, and putting his first lady, Hillary, in charge of it all. This act faced harsh opposition and was never even brought to a vote. Granted, Clinton did come back in his second term and supported the passing of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which expanded federal health insurance to millions of America’s children. Still, his first attempt was perhaps the largest healthcare reform failure in history.

On the flip side of that, our nation has recently seen some success in healthcare reform. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, was successfully passed on March 23, 2010. This was the culmination of so many years of attempted healthcare reform, so simply getting it passed was a huge accomplishment. While it still is far from perfect, it has definitely helped millions of people so far and has paved the road for future reforms as well.

6 thoughts on “America’s Long and Troubled History of Healthcare Reform

  1. I agree on how I feel that certain aspects of the government run a few things definitely has taken a toll on the reformation of health care in the United States. It took nearly 70 years since any major progress has been made to insure that the quality of health care has improved for the majority. The Democratic and Republican parties keep on voting and disagreeing with each other on how medicine should be practice. Also, some people are more focused on the business aspect and how to get the most money out of this. This has affected and put the progress and health of all Americans at risk. We the people could have a more advanced health care system today if it was not for the long battle over the span of Truman’s presidency all the way to Obama’s presidency where the Affordable Care Act was finally passed in 2010 which provided an increase health insurance quality as well as making it more affordable for everyone. Even this newly enacted law is not exactly what everyone dreamed of. It still has its flaws and the health care system is still in a huge crisis of how to regulate and give the best medical care to everyone who asked for it for the lowest possible price. It’s up for our generation to fix this problem. We all have to unite together and make it happen. The question is: Are we willing to do it, will our generation do something about it? Or are we going to let another 70 years pass before anything else happen?

  2. I totally agree with your statement regarding healthcare as a business. I think we forget that many times, especially as aspiring doctors and nurses. Our mind is so set on patient care and fixing people that we don’t think about the business and money behind it all. The biggest problem though, is lack of knowledge regarding health care. It is great that Obamacare was passed, but I think many people, especially young people, didn’t take the time to truly understand it. As a kid, health care was always something that parents dealt with, so we never took the time to understand what health care really is. In order to get the full benefit out of Obamacare, everyone needs to be aware of what it actually does, otherwise it goes to waste.

  3. It is true that sometimes people do fail to acknowledge the business aspect of healthcare and do not attempt to educate themselves in the healthcare system or even our own Health Insurance plans. Understanding our own health insurance policies are important to ensure that we won’t lose money. On the other hand, I personally do not believe that Obamacare is without flaws, and I am sure that it will be revised multiple times for improvements. However, as allhand said it is vital that we still try to be familiar with its benefits to fully be understand it and possibly come up with more ideas to make it better.

  4. Healthcare is one of the tenants of human civilization. In spite of this, in recent history, many efforts have been made to implement o more community healthcare within the United States. With these good intentions, it I shard to ignore the political climate that can render these efforts obsolete. From the Truman Administration to the incumbent Obama administration, there seems to be some sort of stigma associated with the aspect of socialized healthcare. For better or for worse, these perspectives make us inspect and collaborate on what it means for there to be healthcare in the United States for everyone. Growing up, all I used to know about health care was that I did not like needles. Now, as I grow more mature and understandable, it is imperative that I understand what field I am getting into, what opinions lie in that field, and what obstacles there are. With the current election, we do not know how the healthcare system will change. All we know is that the current basis for healthcare in the USA will be affected in some shape and form.

  5. Very aptly stated, healthcare is a business that involves exchange on so many levels, and inevitably, as proven by history, many divisions of interests have hindered and will continue to hinder its progression. Those providing and receiving healthcare are all seeking to reap a profit of some form. And it is often way too difficult to balance out all the different voices. Today, the US is one of the biggest spenders on health care. However, billions of dollars are gone to waste annually due to failures and downright fraud in the system. People are overspending but don’t know where the money is going to. The needy and uncovered are being unfairly charged while the insured find loopholes to have their costs reduced. All these stated, much still remains to be done. There needs to be more transparency on the part of the government on how exchanges in healthcare are handled and the average person needs to be more knowledgeable about where his or her money are going to and what the return is. Everyone is responsible in some way. The history of US healthcare hadn’t been smooth; it definitely will take concerted efforts for past failures to not replay in the future.

  6. Many people would debate the Affordable Care Act is a true success. While the Affordable Care Act has tried to provide more Americans with some form of health insurance and they have tried to make health insurance more affordable for numerous people, there are still many glitches in the system. Overall, it has helped those with people with pre-existing health problems can no longer be refused treatment. But the success of a program is often judged by the ability to use the product offered. Many people have complained about the lack of ability to interface or even sign up for this program. While they wanted to launch this program quickly, if a person can’t get help through the system to get benefits and they get fined for not having it, then it truly is not a successful program. I guess if they can work out the “bugs” in the system, and people don’t mind higher taxes in the short term to have this program, it still might have a chance to be successful. Time will tell.

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