Troubled Past and a Bright Future

Troubled Past and a Bright Future

The biggest challenge as the U.S. has tried to improve our health care system is the strong opposition against it. President Truman believed healthcare was a basic right, and he was the one who shaped the healthcare system. John F. Kennedy came after Truman stating the healthcare is for American seniors medicine insurance should be provided for the elderly. Kennedy appealed to Americans to urge the legislature but met strong opposition from the Medical Association who did not agree with John F. Kennedy. President Johnson continued JFK’s work and formed an alliance with Wilbur Mills-who cut the deal with John F. Kennedy-and passed his bill establishing Medicare and Medicaid. From 1968-1980 Nixon, Ford, and Carter were trying to expand healthcare to low income families and had the idea that healthcare should emphasize keeping people well, not just making people well. Opposition and change in leaders caused the healthcare reform to take 70 years. These factors made it challenging to improve our healthcare system.

The biggest failure is the inability to compromise on the issue. There is so much strong opposition that no change can be made. If legislature could get together and put aside their differences, then we would be able to make some progress. Not only do we have to agree on these changes, but we have to make it accessible to the citizens. Obtaining Medicare or Medicaid should not be difficult. The process should be easy and quick.

One of the successes in healthcare was President Johnson being able to pass his bill and establish Medicare and Medicaid. Another success was the establishment of the Affordable Care Act which expanded healthcare insurance to the poor. Because of this billions were able to access affordable insurance and this saved countless lives.

22 thoughts on “Troubled Past and a Bright Future

  1. I agree with you Nadira, there has been a troubled past and there will be a glorious future. Personally, my favorite moment in the history of American healthcare is when President Truman said that health care was a basic human right. To be at optimum health is one of the most important things a person needs in order to achieve his or her life goals. The problem is, as you’ve stated in your blog post, is the inability for the left and right ends of the political spectrum to compromise on the issue. We all need to realize that making healthcare easier to access with benefit We need to come up with a plan that at least satisfies both parties and has elements that make everyone at least tolerant of the plan.

    1. I think Nadira has made very good points. I think it is crazy how so many people are in opposition to healthcare. To my understanding, it is a great thing and it is definitely something people need. People who have less money should not, not have access to quality healthcare. It is very necessary for politicians to think of what is best for citizens and not for their party. People’s lives could be at stake if people don’t have healthcare. Nadira said it best, they need to compromise. They need to do what is best for citizens so that they can live long healthy lives.

  2. I strongly agree with your statement that opposition is the strongest challenge that the healthcare reform movement faces currently. Even with the Affordable Care Act passing, it there is a lot that has to be done before the act can cause any significant change. In my opinion, the biggest failures in U.S. health care reform correlate to the biggest failure of U.S. society in general. I think it can be broken down into two parts:

    1. People have the strong urge to live successfully but tend to measure their success based on how much better they live compared to other people.
    2. Pride gets in the way of mostly all political movements. The desire for the Democratic and Republican parties to starkly contrast each other is stronger than the desire to do what is best for the American people.

    I think it is important to compromise- as you stated in your response- so that the health of the people is the main priority. Regarding the future of healthcare reform, it is impertinent that we make the system viable for everyone instead of just a select few. Like Truman said, health care is a basic right and we should all put more pressure on politicians to make the system equal. I’ll finish with a cool quote I saw somewhere, “Poor men shouldn’t die from diseases that rich men can cure.”

  3. I definitely agree with your point that the inability for people in legislature to compromise has been a giant roadblock for the improvement of the healthcare system. Throughout US history, and especially in the Clinton administration, it was shown that although heath care reform seemed inevitable, it isn’t easy to actually get an act passed. At the beginning of Clinton’s first term, even with healthcare costs and the number of uninsured americans at an all time high, the administration underestimated the opposition that would ultimately halt the Clinton “Health Security Act” in congress.

    Presently, we have seen a lot of change in the insurance system, with medicare and the affordable care act helping many americans get the care they need, but we still have far to go. Furthermore, with the present political landscape the way it is, I cant help but feel uneasy about the future of america’s healthcare system.

  4. I agree with Nadira. In eleventh grade, I had to do a paper on the history of health care in America and the Affordable Care Act. I found that the biggest factors affecting health care was not a law of some sort, but the opposing sides of Congress. There were those who did not want to raise taxes or do what it financially took to make sure that everyone was covered “because everyone should work to provide for themselves.” On the other side of the spectrum were those people who felt that because Americans have a right to life, they also have a right to receive the health care they need to live.

    I think the biggest failure in health care reform has been the timing issue. Whenever a president tried to make reforms in regards to health care, there is usually some event that halts them from doing so. For instance, when Truman tried to implement universal health care in the country, Congress was controlled by the Republican Party, so his plan was strongly opposed. Another example would be President Kennedy’s proposal of a plan similar to that of Medicare, however, because he was assassinated, he was not able to see the plan come to fruition.

    The biggest success in health care reform would definitely come from the LBJ administration and the passing of the Medicare and Medicaid Acts. These acts were able to insure so many people at low costs. The fact that this plan is still in effect today despite many shifts in government control shows its success.

  5. I completely agree that a lack of compromise between politically divided groups is one of the biggest failures of the U.S. health care reform. Especially when healthcare is such a crucial issue, sometimes between life and death, it’s not something that should be disputed and argued about. While there are multiple approaches to healthcare, it is in the best interest of the American people that the United States government does not resort to political discrepancies. I also agree that the implementation of medicare and medicaid was an important milestone in healthcare reform. It’s passing made it possible for many citizens to have access to the healthcare they needed. I fear that with the current political situation the influence of the Affordable Care Act may also be overshadowed by unwillingness to compromise. I believe the American healthcare system has made lots of progress, and I would hope that future administrations would continue to recognize the need for all citizens to have access to the healthcare they are entitled to.

  6. I agree that our biggest failure in health care reform is that we cannot find compromise. We see this in almost all major and controversial issues our country faces. It is the thought that our own beliefs are far superior than anyone else’s that prevent change and progression, especially in health care reform. Politicians often do not respect their opponent’s arguments; they believe that those who agree with them are right and smart and those who disagree are wrong and stupid for it. It is impossible for every single person in this country to come to the same conclusion about an issue. Therefore, the way we approach health care reform should change- it should not be a war between two sides, instead a discussion between two different viewpoints.

  7. As a nursing student, we will be learning a lot about health care in the U.S. since we will be dealing with this on a daily basis with our patients. It is amazing that it has taken so long just to establish a basic model of health care and that so many people were overlooked and denied health care just because of their income. I agree that we, as a country, have come a long way in establishing health care policies, but there will always be problems to sort out. I agree that the reason this has taken so long is that people in legislature tend to disagree on everything and that if they put aside their differences of opinion and focused on trying to benefit as many people in the country as they could, then things would happen a lot quicker. I think that alexnico brought up a good point about the discussion about health care reform should be just that, a discussion and not a war or debate between two opposing sides.

  8. I completely agree with you! Every time we take a step to improving our health care system we take four steps back. I agree with you most on the fact that our legislature needs to put their differences aside and do what is best for citizens. As an aspiring pediatric physician, I know that the health care system will be major a part of career. I also know that with out the benefits of effective health care some citizens will not be allowed to get the benefits and support they deserve and I will be limited to the help that I can provide and this personally hurt me.

  9. I completely agree with you, Nadira. As you said, the greatest barrier in achieving health care for all is the continuous conflict within congress. People need to find compromise to help the greater good. President Truman said that health care is a basic human right; I completely agree with him. It is alarming that a country as advanced and progressive as ours still does not have universal health care. It really demonstrates how divided our legislative and congressional government is.

  10. I strongly agree with your broad answer to the biggest issue in healthcare reform, being the inability of congress to compromise. In fact, I believe that not only has this issue been prevalent on many topics in the political arena, but research shows that polarization in politics has increased greatly in the United States in recent years. All too often the issue is focused more on the political arena than the actual issues that face our country. This is a fundamental problem that continues to grow, and I believe that without a major change polarized politics could make it take even longer than it had previously before healthcare reform would continue. Compromise is essential for progress in america on all topics.

  11. I find it incredible (and not in a good way) that it took so long for any type of healthcare reform to take place. And like you pointed out, the main reason for that was because all bills met such strong opposition. I think that we let the labels “democrat” and “republican” define us so much that they start to blind us; we can’t see past them, and therefore we can’t see, acknowledge, or agree on what might very well be a good idea, because it was proposed by the opposing party. And vice versa, these labels keep us from seeing bad ideas made my members of our own party. The stronger polarization in our nation, the harder it will be to make any type of compromise, even on simple issues. And in a time where many important issues need to be discussed and decided on, this opposition could destroy us and keep more healthcare reform from taking place.

  12. I absolutely agree with Nadira in saying that the biggest challenge in improving health care has come from a divided system. Although there have been some short times when one party dominated both houses, most of the time this wasn’t the case. Typically, the Democrats control one house, while the Republicans overwhelm another. Due to the political differences and opposing ethical tendencies of Democrats and Republicans many issues, not just health care, cannot be compromised for the greater good of the American people. Progress is made with a proposal, only to be resent when another draft of a bill is different between the houses. Then parties never want to meet in the middle and all efforts are abandoned.

    I believe the biggest failure in health care reform is the way in which health care is viewed. Some people believe that health care is a basic right; thus it should be universal. Other believe health care is a privilege and financial stability often affects whether people can or cannot afford this “privilege.” Until we as a nation reach common ground on what health care really is, we cannot develop a plan to improve it.

    The greatest success in health care reform was achieve by the Johnson administration. Even though he unexpectedly took office, he got right to action and passed Medicare/Medicaid policies.

  13. I agree that the greatest challenge is legislature’s disunity about health care and many other topics. A lot would be able to get done if legislature didn’t spend as much time fighting about topics than making some type of move, even if it is a small one. Opposition from succeeding presidents to the plans of earlier presidents is all a huge problem. Not everything can be done as quickly as 4 years, so there needs to be a succeeding president that can carry on plans. I think this something that Americans need to think about in regards to the upcoming presidential election and its possible affects on Obamacare.

  14. I definitely agree that the biggest challenge with health care has been the opposition and failure to compromise on the issue. Some countries, such as Austria and Egypt, have health care that is more affordable to their people. It is often debated on whether or not health care is a right or a privilege within the United States. This also brings about the issue on the two party political system. We only get representation within Congress from Democrats and Republicans; therefore, the House can often be divided and health care reforms may not get passed because a bill or a version of a health care bill cannot be decided on.

  15. I agree with your statement that obtaining Medicare and Medicaid should not be difficult. It is meant to help the people so it should be more accessible. I also agree that there is failure in finding compromise. Passing the bill has been deemed a very difficult process. I think that our government needs some reforms but that is a whole different story. There is too much dispute between politicians and the people. I think it has become more of a political issue rather than a societal issue. Today, you hear health care being debated about more on the news rather than how the people have benefited from it. There is still much more progress to be made.

  16. I completely agree with your statement that the biggest challenge for the health care system was the long time and the obstacles the passing of the bill took. When I watched the videos and listened to all the history behind the struggles of passing the health insurance bill, I was amazed by the amount of time it took to actually pass. It had to go through multiple presidents and opposition until it finally got passed in 1965. Even though it was a very bumpy road, I think LBJ’s success in passing the medicare act in 1965 is a very major and pivotal point that was the first step in health care reform.
    Aside from the historic challenges, the current US health care system has some failures or drawbacks. The US is the largest spender when it comes to private health care even though other countries have much better health care while spending less money on it. Health care prices are also much higher compared to other countries (coming from another country myself, the difference was huge) while the health of the general population stays the same.
    A recent success in the health care system was definitely the passing of the Affordable Care Act. The US had polarized government and budget deficits but the act defied these obstacles and was passed marking a new chapter in US health care reform and becoming the first major reform since 1965.

  17. When Nadira stated that, “The biggest failure is the inability to compromise on the issue,” she took the words right out of my mouth. I agree with this statement one-hundred percent. Until the legislature is able to compromise we will not move forward in the process of medicare/medicaid. Looking at how many years it is taking us to be successful shows that there needs to be a change. You can’t continue doing the same things over and over and expect to get different results, it doesn’t work like that. I believe the legislatures biggest fear is being wrong. They don’t want to be the blame for things going wrong and causing a disaster to occur. I understand that, but the greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one.

  18. Nadira’s words and my thoughts are in accordance with one another. The biggest thing holding America back in terms of health care are political gridlock and divisions among Congress. I think we must also examine why these differences exist. Over the past few years, polarization among the major two parties has increased to a large degree. Congress members take more extreme positions and as a result, chances of compromise decrease, thus slowing down the process of legislating. The members of Congress who genuinely believe that healthcare is a right, not a privilege, for every American have to contend with those who are beholden to special interests, most notably the insurance companies. If health care was truly nationalized and it became a single-payer system, large insurance companies would stand to lose a fortune, so large-scale lobbying against national health care exists. I definitely agree that Medicare and the Affordable Care Act were most certainly great steps forward, though there is still a lot of room for improvement, and hopefully we as a nation can continue to progress to the point where no one has to go bankrupt over a hospital visit.

  19. Learning to compromise has always been a struggle whether it be from a young age to an elder. As Nadira pointed it out, we still see this problem in our own government filled with elder, intellectual individuals. Learning to compromise is difficult, and it proves to be the biggest problem in society especially in terms of healthcare. It is a given that people will disagree and have different views on certain topics, but finding a middle where people can learn to give a little is the key.

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