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

The Children's Health Insurance Program has given Democrats a wide-open door for socialized medicine. The door was left open by Republicans, who were in the majority when we passed the original legislation in 1997.

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Rep. Jack Kingston [R-GA], The New York Times.

All too often such well-intended Federal programs simply fuel the flames of spiraling health care cost inflation, diffuse the concentration of limited Federal dollars on the truly medically needy who must rely on Government entitlements for any medical care, and exacerbate the rising uncontrollable element in the Federal deficit which we must get under control if we are going to put people back to work—which is the real objective that would meet the problem addressed by this committee.

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Don Bliss, Esq., National Association of Manufacturers, Testimony, Senate Finance Committee.
04/21/1983 | Full Details | Law(s): COBRA

Unemployment always lags behind the business cycle and is highest when recovery has begun. In such periods, when pessimism is pervasive, costly proposals are often advanced, such as public programs to create jobs, mortgage subsidies, and health insurance for the unemployed. These proposals always prove to be unnecessary since they never get fully started until recovery is going strong. Furthermore, such programs would increase the federal deficit at a time when it needs to be reduced. This would mean applying the wrong solutions, which would increase the deficit, abort the recovery, reinflate the economy and continue unacceptable high levels of employment.

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Jan Peter Ozga, Director of Health Care, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Testimony, Senate Finance Committee.
04/21/1983 | Full Details | Law(s): COBRA

“This plan forces us to buy our insurance through new mandatory government health alliances…” (Louise) “Run by tens of thousands of bureaucrats…” (Harry) “Having choices we don’t like is no choice at all…” (Louise) “They choose, we lose” (Together).

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Health Insurance Association of America’s (HIAA) 1993 “Harry and Louise” TV ads.

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.