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

[A dramatic increase in regulation under the Obama administration is] threatening to short-circuit our recovery and undermine our long-term growth....More importantly , it is suffocating the entrepreneurial spirit so vital to America’s success.

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Thomas Donohue, President of the Chamber of Commerce

Democrats are making it clear that they intend to use our economic crisis to rush through their longtime liberal goals without public scrutiny or debate. ... This will increase burdens on taxpayers and take a significant step toward socialized medicine.

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Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), The Washington Times.

In our view, any program created should be temporary. It should remain in place for a limited period of time with a sunset provision. Such a requirement would establish the need for Congress and the nation to reevaluate the continuation of or modifications to the program on a regular basis rather than creating another ‘untouchable’ entitlement program.

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Statement of Joseph F. Boyle, M.D., Chairman of the Board of Trustees, American Medical Association, Chicago, Accompanied by Dr. James Sammons, Executive Vice President and Harry Peterson, Director, Testimony, Senate Finance Committee.
04/21/1983 | Full Details | Law(s): COBRA

Medicare would be strictly a tax program, forcing wage earners to pay a substantial in their payroll taxes to finance hospitalization for everyone over 65, including those who are wealthy and millions of others who are already protected with hospital insurance.

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AMA President Dr. Edward R. Annis.
01/08/1964 | 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.