In the past, managed care in the United States took the form of voluntary programs. Such programs date from about 1850, when managed care was provided chiefly by cooperative mutual benefit and fraternal beneficiary associations. Limited coverage by commercial companies was also introduced during that period, and subsequently many plans were established by industries and labor unions. Advocacy of government managed care in the United States began in the early 1900s. Theodore Roosevelt made national managed care one of the major planks of the Progressive party during the 1912 presidential campaign, and in 1915 a model bill for managed care was presented, but defeated, in numerous state legislatures. After 1920 opposition to government-sponsored plans was led by the American Medical Association and was said to be motivated by the fear that government participation in medical care might lead to socialized medicine. (Birenbaum, 1997) Over the years in the United States, many plans have been set up by societies of practicing physicians, but the largest enrollment has been in Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. These were set up as community-sponsored, nonprofit service plans based on contracts with hospitals and with subscribers. Most general voluntary plans accept subscribers, in groups or as individuals. These plans extend coverage to dependents and exclude accidents and diseases covered by workers' compensation laws. Although valuable in cushioning the financial distress caused by illness or injury, voluntary managed care not only limits benefits in order to avoid prohibitive rates but also excludes many people, particularly the poor, who cannot afford it, and senior citizens, for whom the cost is often prohibitive. By the mid-1990s many of the Blue Cross companies, which had been suffering financially, were reorganizing, and by 2002 more than 20% of Blue Cross members were covered by plans that had converted to for-profit status. (www.medicare.gov)...
Birenbaum, Arnold. (1997). Managed Care: Made in America, Praeger Publishers, Westport, CT.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document