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Category: Week 2 – The History of American Health Care Reform

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.

Healthcare: Past, Present, and Future

Healthcare: Past, Present, and Future

The biggest challenges our nation faces in improving our healthcare system is disunity in our government. There are countless examples of healthcare bills not passing because Congress disagreed or the president vetoed the bill. The process of improving and updating healthcare laws is slow and tedious, with extremely similar bills failing multiple times before passing.

I believe the biggest failure of the reform was Truman’s failure to pass a national insurance program. A large reason for the failure was the American Medical Association’s constant attacks on his plan. Their creation of propaganda against the program, presenting it as “socialized medicine”, turned public opinion against the bill. Nothing similar to it would get passed for another twenty years with Johnson’s administration. It would have revolutionized the healthcare system years ahead of schedule, insuring millions.

The most significant success is the most recent passing of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. It brought together the work of decades of failed reforms. It is so influential because it helped insure the poor by significantly expanding Medicaid. It also raises the standards of healthcare coverage, providing additional preventive care services and keeping health professionals better in check.

As a question for commenter to ponder: what do you think is the future of U.S. healthcare reform, and how long do you think it would take to get implemented?

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.

Slow and Steady Change

Slow and Steady Change

I think the biggest challenge that health care reformers have faced in the past has simply been the fact that a significant portion of the population does not understand the health care system. For better or worse, it seems that health related issues have usually been overlooked or brushed over by politicians and the American public in favor of other topics, such as war, politics, or the economy. I know for me personally, I have never really been concerned with health care issues and until recently really had no idea of how the health system worked. Aside from children who have parents who work in the health care system or have experienced being in the health care system a lot, most children never really get taught about the American health care system the same way they are taught about financial literacy or American civics. As a result, most people don’t really have any exposure to health care unless they get really sick. A study from the National Academy of Sciences found that half of Americans were not aware of the health care exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act and that forty percent were unable to accurately explain what a “deductible” was. Perhaps unsurprisingly, those of lower income tended to have less understanding of the health care system than those of higher income, making it even more challenging for reformers. Without knowledge of how an existing system works, it is very difficult to reform that system.

My understanding of the history of American health care is limited since I am only 17, but I consider the Affordable Care Act to be the biggest failure in US health care reform. Contradictory to its name, the Affordable Care Act has actually caused the price of health insurance premiums to increase for most people. One year after its passage, costs of premiums increased 9% on average, and four years after its passage, costs had gone up 59% on individual plans. In addition, the ACA has been unable to convince many uninsured people to sign up for health care. A study in 2014 found that only a quarter of people who purchased an Obamacare plan were uninsured the year before. In addition, half of uninsured respondents said that affordability was their main reason for not purchasing insurance. Lastly, the Affordable Care Act has caused many health insurers to lose considerable amounts of money and withdraw from many states. As a result, people in Alabama, Alaska, Oklahoma, and other states will only have one option for health care next year.

Unlike the Affordable Care Act, I consider the State Children’s Health Insurance Program to be a success and a demonstration of the effectiveness of incremental change rather than massive overhaul. After ten years under SCHIP, the percentage of children uninsured fell greatly, even as the number of uninsured people grew. Perhaps rather than pushing for huge changes at once, health care reform could look for specific areas to target and improve on gradually.

Healthcare Reform

Healthcare Reform

I believe one of the biggest reason why healthcare reform took decades for a major change to occur is due to the popularity of the president. I think that every time a president has started their attempt at health care reform the president’s popularity has dropped due to reasons in and out of the healthcare arena. Once the popularity drops the president has other issues to face and healthcare drops as a main priority. I also think the amount of time for the process takes and the amount of approval necessary makes it extreme difficult for any change to be made. I think if the majority in the congress is of the opposite party of the president there it is more likely the president will face greater opposition in his healthcare policy.


For me, the biggest failure of U.S. healthcare reform were the attempts of Bill Clinton. He failed because he was too ambitious with his proposed policy which caused a lot of resistance. He also gave the first lady a large role in the reform which was unpopular among many Americans at the time. I think this failure is huge because the Clintons were so confident that they promised they would pass their bill yet in the end the bill never came to the floor.

 

I believe the biggest success in healthcare reform is the affordable care act because it is the first time in decades that a major reform has been made. I categorize this as success compared to other health care reforms because this was truly successful as the bill was actually passed. I do not necessarily know if this is the best step forward but I know great change has occurred.

Evolution of Health Care

Evolution of Health Care

The factors that have been the biggest challenges as the U.S. tries to improve our health care system is the fact that our health care system would be run by the government and that a large health system would result in higher taxes. We live in a country where the federal government is supposed to be weak compared to the state governments, preventing from a tyranny. When health care was brought up people became very wary especially of the fact that it was going to be controlled by the federal government. By allowing the government to control our health care our choices as patients would be limited and in the hands of the government. Health care being socialized will lead to it being less individualized. Also having such a large health care system would only result in an enormous amount of money being needed which will most definitely lead to higher taxes.

The biggest failure in U.S. health care reform in my opinion is John. F Kennedy’s defeat in his Medicare bill. JFK was so passionate in getting this bill passed, enabling Americans to care for their own old-age health insurance to prevent from being unable to pay for their own health care. His loss was not only a setback for him, but also our nation as a whole.

The biggest success in U.S. health care reform would be the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. Millions of people now, because of Obamacare, have been able to access affordable insurance. This saves millions of peoples lives.

Health Care Reform – Don’t Hold Your Breath

Health Care Reform – Don’t Hold Your Breath

Based off of the information we learned in class, and in my opinion, the biggest challenges in America’s attempt to reform health care have been distractions and Congressional opposition. Since the Truman administration, health care reform has been at the forefront of both the American and governing mind. Americans have proven this by voicing their concern and disapproval for the health care systems we’ve encountered through out history. Presidents have proven this by addressing health care reform in State of the Union Addresses, speaking at rallies, and touring to promote their reforms. Despite the passion our country has for this issue, it took almost 70 years for legislation to pass. Time and time again, our executive branch (Kennedy, Clinton, Obama) was met with strong opposition from Congress, or were called to other events. Elections, scandals, and general lack of support all deterred us from American health care reform.

I think that the biggest failure in health care reform was simply how long it took for our government to come together to enact legislation. Too often partisan politics or even individual politicians stood in the way of reforming our health care system, which is a loss for everyone; because it took so long to get the ball rolling, it will now take even longer to build and improve on the Affordable Care Act that is now in place.

On the other hand, I think that the biggest success in U.S. health care reform has been the perseverance of our nation’s presidents to reform this system. As noted in class, it took many years of drafting, refining, and recycling ideas to finally enact ObamaCare. However, if it were not for the many leaders that set the stage, paved the way, and started the conversations around health care reform, this effort could’ve died a long time ago.