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.
Cry Wolf Quotes
A piece of the roof came off with Medicare. Now the whole structure [of American Medicine] is threatened as we knew it would be sooner or later….Some people think that people are entitled to health care as a matter of right, whether they work or not. This is just as absurd as saying that food, clothes, and shelter are a matter of right- one step further than that is a revolutionary system bordering on communism.
Creating a government-run plan -- in any form -- to compete alongside the private sector for non-Medicare/Medicaid eligible individuals is unnecessary to achieve comprehensive reform and would have devastating consequences.
Let us go on the record as saying we believe that this program should be temporary. Clearly, we share with the chairman [Senator Bob Dole] the belief that the general economy is not by tomorrow going to turn upside down, and during the time in which it takes to do that, this program should be in place. But it should indeed be temporary. It should have a limited scope. Indeed, we are not in a position in this country today to institute another Cadillac-care program when it is not necessary…Certainly we do not wish to see this become another entitlement program…”
[The Medicare bill would] set up a health care program which served little or no necessary social purpose and which would be a direct, unwarranted and completely unfair intrusion in private enterprise.
Related Laws and Rules
Backgrounders & Briefs
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 Project on Global Working Families is a study that measures worldwide social safety nets.
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.