In celebration of President’s Day this week, I gave a little history of healthcare and how the idea of becoming universal is not new to our current president-https://themedicalstrategist.com/blog/websites/happy-and-healthy-presidents-day-to-everyone/
Today, the Huffington Post has featured the same story (complete with photos from Getty’s library). So, in case you missed their coverage, I have supplied you with a view of their feature, See below.
Former President Theodore Roosevelt champions national health insurance as he unsuccessfully tries to ride his progressive Bull Moose Party back to the White House. He favors creating national health insurance amid the Great Depression but decides to push for Social Security first.
Roosevelt establishes wage and price controls during World War II. Businesses can’t attract workers with higher pay so they compete through added benefits, including health insurance, which grows into a workplace perk.
President Harry Truman calls on Congress to create a national insurance program for those who pay voluntary fees. The American Medical Association denounces the idea as “socialized medicine” and it goes nowhere.
John F. Kennedy makes health care a major campaign issue but as president can’t get a plan for the elderly through Congress.
President Lyndon B. Johnson’s legendary arm-twisting and a Congress dominated by his fellow Democrats lead to creation of two landmark government health programs: Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid for the poor.
President Richard Nixon wants to require employers to cover their workers and create federal subsidies to help everyone else buy private insurance. The Watergate scandal intervenes.
President Jimmy Carter pushes a mandatory national health plan, but economic recession helps push it aside.
President Ronald Reagan signs COBRA, a requirement that employers let former workers stay on the company health plan for 18 months after leaving a job, with workers bearing the cost.
Congress expands Medicare by adding a prescription drug benefit and catastrophic care coverage. It doesn’t last long. Barraged by protests from older Americans upset about paying a tax to finance the additional coverage, Congress repeals the law the next year.
President Bill Clinton puts first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in charge of developing what becomes a 1,300-page plan for universal coverage. It requires businesses to cover their workers and mandates that everyone have health insurance. The plan meets Republican opposition, divides Democrats and comes under a firestorm of lobbying from businesses and the health care industry. It dies in the Senate.
Clinton signs bipartisan legislation creating a state-federal program to provide coverage for millions of children in families of modest means whose incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid.
President George W. Bush persuades Congress to add prescription drug coverage to Medicare in a major expansion of the program for older people.
Hillary Rodham Clinton promotes a sweeping health care plan in her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. She loses to Obama, who has a less comprehensive plan.
President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress spend an intense year ironing out legislation to require most companies to cover their workers; mandate that everyone have coverage or pay a fine; require insurance companies to accept all comers, regardless of any pre-existing conditions; and assist people who can’t afford insurance.
With no Republican support, Congress passes the measure, designed to extend health care coverage to more than 30 million uninsured people. Republican opponents scorned the law as “Obamacare.”
As you can see, lawmakers have had their hand in attempting the establishment of healthcare for all Americans for nearly three-quarters of a century!
The question is, “Have we done it right”?
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