Health Care Reform and How the United States Got There.

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Health Care Reform and How the United States Got There.

For over a decade our healthcare system has been flawed, and for over a decade several Presidents have tried to reform the health industry with little success. Advocates of health care reform have been met with great controversy and resistance since as early as 1854 when President Franklin Pierce vetoed the “Land-Grant Bill for Indigent Insane Persons” that would benefit the indigent insane, “by arguing that the federal government should not commit itself to social welfare, which he believed was properly the responsibility of the states” ("Senate Debates On the Land-Grant Bill for Indigent Insane, 1854). Those apposed to change have fought diligently to cease the passing of any bill that would benefit the people. However, on March 10, 2010 all that would change with the passing of President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The United States health care system would begin to move towards a more socialist approach and the start of a new era in healthcare would begin, but only time will tell what the ramifications the United States will face in the upcoming years as we continue to push toward change. The problems we are facing today did not happen overnight; it took several years, decades, even a century. It took a multitude of problems compounding over time to put the United States into the health care turmoil we are facing today. In order to understand how the United States health care system failed we must know why it failed. The way the health care systems operates today, has not always been the case. In fact over the course of years, healthcare has transformed dramatically from the first time health care became a national issue in the early part of the twenty Century when Progressivism was influencing both the United States and Europe. During the beginning of the twentieth century, a time when the Progressivism movement was influencing both the United States and Europe, the United States came the closest to socialistic medicine it ever has come until present day. “However due to several contributing factors, employer-based sickness funds, the American Medical Association opposition to socialized health care, this initiative was shot down, and may have contributed to why the idea of government-based insurance did not take hold in the United States” (Truman, 1949). While the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe moved toward nationalized health care for all citizens, the United States continued to struggle with how to approach health care. Prior to 1920, those who had healthcare coverage were those who worked for an employer who had a basic employer-based sickness fund, and the idea of universal healthcare would not surface again until after the Great Depression when President Roosevelt tried to initiate universal healthcare. When President Roosevelt proposed the “New Deal” legislation he proposed healthcare reform that many considered “compulsory health insurance” (Hoffman 2003). However, President Roosevelt’s initiative for reformation within the health care arena was short lived due to the continued opposition from the American Medical Association, and both state and local governments. President Roosevelt feared political attack from the American Medical Association, and for that reason President Roosevelt dropped all healthcare legislation from the “New Deal” agenda. During the same era as the proposed “New Deal” legislation, a new group health insurance plan was formed by a group of teachers in Dallas, Texas. This group plan would come to be known as Blue Cross Blue Shield, and “the popularity of group health insurance policies began to increase tremendously due to the discounted contracts that were negotiated with doctors and hospitals, which were passed on to the consumer.” (Health Care in the United States, n.d) By the 1940’s the perception of health care began to change quite rapidly. Those who were purchasing individual...
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