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

American Medical Association [AMA] was strongly opposed to any scheme for group practice and to health insurance ... because they are un-American.

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Dr. Morris Fishbein, editor of The Journal of the American Medical Association, The New York Times.

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

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.

Will you resist the temptation to get a government handout for your community? Realize that the doctor's fight against socialized medicine is your fight. We can't socialize the doctors without socializing the patients. Recognize that government invasion of public power is eventually an assault upon your own business.

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Ronald Reagan
10/27/1964 | Full Details | Law(s): Medicare

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.