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Healthcare Reform Research Paper

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Participation in Government
Healthcare Reform Research Paper

My question is, how long is it going to take for the world’s most powerful country to create a sustainable healthcare system? We have spent too many years with small reforms, ; we need big changes, and we need them soon.
Healthcare has a long and detailed history in the United States. Since the beginning of the 20th century, it has been a major source of political debate. Both federal and state governments have made efforts in trying to take steps toward a universal health care system.
Early reform poured the foundation for today’s government healthcare programs. The United States witnessed social movements that demanded access to the American dream. People who were viewed as second-class citizens banded together and demanded reform on their behalves. The largest of these movements was a demand for universal healthcare.
American’s greatest issue was sickness and missing work. When working individuals missed work due to “sickness” they lost their wages. The loss of income made sickness the leading cause of poverty. Reformists saw a need for national healthcare and the campaign began. Health insurance that would protect the worker against wage loss and expenses incurred from medical treatment.
In 1906, the American Association of Labor Legislation (AALL) became active in the push for national health care. They created a committee that concentrated on healthcare insurance, and in 1915 drafted a bill that gave limited coverage to the working class and to anyone that earned less than $1200 a year. This draft included sick pay, death, and maternity benefits. The proposal was meet by opposition. Although the American Medical Association offered its support of the bill in the beginning, it soon followed the American Federation of Labor and private insurance industry in opposing the bill. World War I brought an end to the campaign for national health insurance debate until the 1930’s.
The 1930s brought about a need to stabilize income and provide access to medical care. For various reasons healthcare utilization had increased, hospital cost rose, and a large portion of the family income was dedicated to medical expenses. This was the time of the Great Depression, and it was the perfect time for Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) to push for health care legislation. FDR pushed for a national healthcare bill through the Social Security bill in 1935 and the National Health Act of 1939. Both were frugal attempts because The Great Depression made unemployment compensation difficult and World War II began.
After the death of FDR, healthcare reform was left to Harry S. Truman. His approach, unlike FDR’s, included insurance for all classes and not just the working class. Despite Truman’s many efforts to ensure that healthcare was not a form of socialism; his plans were lost in congressional committees amidst the Korean War. America still had no single system of health care for the entire population, but did have private insurance and programs set in place for the poor.
There were several other attempts at proposing a national health care bill after President Truman, but during this time hospitals and physicians began offering their own insurance programs. This was the birth of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the first insurance company. In 1940, there was legislation passed in support of the birth of new third party insurance providers.
The next significant attempt came in 1965 when Lyndon B. Johnson enacted legislation in response the focus on the uninsured and the elderly. Medicare and Medicaid were born. Medicare covered hospital and medical care for the elderly and was paid for by a Federal Employment tax. Medicaid was a program for the poor. It was partially funded by the Federal government but individual states managed to co-finance the program. Medicare and Medicaid have made federal and state government the largest payers of health care cost in the United States.
During President Nixon’s term in office, Americans began to say that health care coverage was a right of all Americans. His response was the Comprehensive Health Care Insurance Act. Nixon’s plan mandated that employers provide healthcare insurance for their employees and a federal health plan that any American could purchase based on income. Once again the idea of universal health care hit a wall due to rising health cost and inflation. The presidents and candidates to follow, Clinton, Bush, Kerry, McCain, and Obama, all made universal health care part of their campaigns.
Economic downfall and the ever-increasing cost of health care have caused a crushing blow to the American family. These costs are making it harder for families to make ends-meet leading to the rising number of uninsured health care has made universal health care once again a major concern of government. The goal of universal health care is to provide a package of benefits to all of members of society that provides financial risk protection, improved access to health services and improved health outcomes. Universal health care is crucial to economic viability.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is America’s first success in the world of universal health care. The PPACA’s goal is to reduce healthcare costs, allowing people to become more engaged in their care and thus making better informed decisions. The PPACA makes healthcare more affordable and intended increases access to care by expanding the government Medicaid program to the uninsured. Americans agree the major problems with healthcare is access and cost and most health care organizations expect the PPACA will do just that with an increase to the cost of healthcare over time. In my interview with a representative from CDPHP I asked if the laws that have been passed have actually reduced the cost of healthcare for consumers, it was made clear that none of the recent reforms have actually reduced costs for consumers. Our federal and state governments are simply paying for the rising costs.
Currently there is one in four Americans who use no health care services. Evidence shows that eliminating co-pays and cost-sharing for evidence based services encourages people to use the services. Free prevention benefits, coverage for young adults and pre-existing conditions, and affordable insurance exchange, allow Americans to make choices that best suit their needs. These provisions may lead to patients having a difficult time getting an appointment because of the increasingly small supply of primary care physicians. This shortage ultimately affects patients within different backgrounds, leading to a decrease in the utilization of health care services.
In conclusion, I don’t think there will ever be a true universal health care because we just simply will not be able to cover everyone without taking a loss somewhere else in the government. Our government is on the right track but we are a long way from where we ultimately need to be. 1. http://www.healthcare.gov/law/timeline/- A timeline of different laws and acts that have been passed since 2010.
2. http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/health/diseasesconditionsandhealthtopics/health_insurance_and_managed_care/health_care_reform/index.html- An overview and summary of the actions that President Obama has taken since being elected.
3. http://m.whitehouse.gov/healthreform- A source for various news articles to do with healthcare.
4. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/20/health-care-reform-rules_n_2165152.html- An explanation of how healthcare reform is giving patients a new bill of rights.
5. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/21/opinion/sunday/the-republican-ticket-twists-the-facts-about-health-care.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&- A summary of how the presidential candidates twisted the facts about healthcare to appeal to voters.
6. http://www.myhealthnewsdaily.com/2779-health-care-reform-supreme-court.html- Seven facts everyone should know about healthcare.
7. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2010/mar/18/top-10-facts-know-about-health-chttp://www.doughroller.net/news-analysis/health-care-reform-bill-facts-figures/are-reform/- Ten facts about healthcare.
8. http://www.doughroller.net/news-analysis/health-care-reform-bill-facts-figures/- Twenty-six facts and figures about healthcare.
9. I am in the process of scheduling an interview with Ali Skinner, the public relations manager at CDPHP.
10. I will also be using T.R. Reid’s “The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care”

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