Health Care

Health Care

The history of American health care is exceptional, and not in a positive way. Every other developed nation has a cradle to the grave universal health care system. Several presidents attempted to provide universal healthcare, but every attempt was defeated by industry and conservative opposition. Several significant gains were made over the years: Medicare provided access to coverage for the elderly, Medicaid for the very poor, SCHIP for children, and COBRA for the previously insured unemployed. But it wasn’t until 2010 that a universal health care bill, the Affordable Care Act, was finally signed into law by President Barack Obama.

Commentary

Health Care and Emergency Room

Crying Wolf -- The Same Old Song on Health Care and Unions

April 29, 2009

Cry Wolf Quotes

Forcing free market plans to compete with these government-run programs would create an unlevel playing field and inevitably doom true competition…

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Letter from Senators Mitch McConnell, (R-KY)., Orrin Hatch (R-UT); Charles Grassley, (R-IA); Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.; and Judd Gregg, (R-NH)
06/08/2009 | Full Details | Law(s): Affordable Care Act

[Obama’s budget] will move us even further down the path to universal health care. We are treading dangerously close to bureaucratic intervention in the exam room and I will not support any measure that leads to socialized medicine.

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Rep. John Fleming (R-LA)
02/26/2010 | Full Details | Law(s): Affordable Care Act

Every liberal on the campaign trail has a plan to deliver free, socialized medicine, but no country on earth, folks, can possibly pay for every test for everybody without going bankrupt.

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Rush Limbaugh
01/25/2008 | Full Details | Law(s): Universal Healthcare

The most devastating indictment of the president’s proposal is that it threatens to destroy virtually everything about American health care that’s worth preserving. Under the plan’s layers of regulation and oversight, even seeing a doctor whenever you like will be no easy matter: access to physicians will be carefully regulated by gatekeepers; referrals to specialists will be strongly discouraged; second opinions will be almost unheard of; and the availability of new drugs will be limited.

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William Kristol, The Project for a Republican Future.

Backgrounders & Briefs

Marine Hospitals in the 18th Century

The Marine Hospital Act of 1798 was the federal government’s first foray into public medicine.  The arguments against the policy sound awfully familiar.

The Work, Family and Equity Index: How Does the United States Measure Up?

The Project on Global Working Families is a study that measures worldwide social safety nets.

Resources

Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) is a progressive think tank that concentrates on social and economic policy, both domestic and international.

University of California-Berkeley Labor Center carries out research on labor and workplace-related issues.

Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity is a think tank devoted to food policy in the United States.

Institute for Women’s Policy Research is a prominent think tank that is largely focused on American women's issues. This covers everything from pay equity to welfare reform to domestic violence.