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

There certainly is a segment of the employer population that has a philosophical opposition to Government’s role here. There are others who are concerned about return-to-work disincentives, or the incongruous nature of cutting Medicare and Medicaid while adding new programs. And there are others who would like to have problem world be [sic] resolved through a voluntary, charity-based approach. We believe that whatever is required of employers should not create disincentive for the growing number of voluntary and negotiated plans, and it certainly should not impose such a burden that the provisions of basic medical insurance will be reduced, be that for small employers, or that the unemployment figures themselves will be increased for larger employers.

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Willis B. Goldbeck, President, Washington Business Group on Health, Testimony, Senate Finance Committee.
04/21/1983 | Full Details | Law(s): COBRA

To prejudice a narrow sector of the U.S. economy with the aim of funding a broad-based entitlement program is grossly unfair and burdensome to American businesses and consumers.

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Chamber of Commerce, The Phoenix Business Journal.

[Write to your congressional representative against the health care reform proposal or] we will awake to find that we have socialism.

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From an AMA recording by Ronald Reagan, "Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine."
01/01/1961 | Full Details | Law(s): Medicare

What we don’t do is let the government run our health care system through mandatory and monopolistic insurance purchasing schemes. That approach would take away your freedom of choice about health care…

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The Coalition for Health Insurance Choices, started by HIAA, Advertisement in The New York Times.

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.