The most visible problem is the 32 million people without health insurance; the most distressing is the number of preventable deaths - up topeople per year - simply due to the way the health care system is organized. This crisis persists despite available resources to protect the right to health, record levels of health care spending and repeated health reform efforts. Since social determinants, such as race, income and environment, strongly influence who becomes ill and who receives access to quality care, the health care crisis disproportionately affects disadvantaged groups and under-resourced communities, such as people living in poverty, people of color, and immigrants. Around 50 million people do not have health insurance.
Share A Brief History: The evolution of these efforts and the reasons for their failure make for an intriguing lesson in American history, ideology, and character.
Other developed countries have had some form of social insurance that later evolved into national insurance for nearly as long as the US has been trying to get it.
Some European countries started with compulsory sickness insurance, one of the first systems, for workers beginning in Germany in ; other countries including Austria, Hungary, Norway, Britain, Russia, and the Netherlands followed all the way through Other European countries, including Sweden inDenmark inFrance inand Switzerland insubsidized the mutual benefit societies that workers formed among themselves.
So for a very long time, other countries have had some form of universal health care or at least the beginnings of it. The primary reason for the emergence of these programs in Europe was income stabilization and protection against the wage loss of sickness rather than payment for medical expenses, which came later.
Programs were not universal to start with and were originally conceived as a means of maintaining incomes and buying political allegiance of the workers. In a seeming paradox, the British and German systems were developed by the more conservative governments in power, specifically as a defense to counter expansion of the socialist and labor parties.
US circaincluding Reformers and the Progressive Era: The government took no actions to subsidize voluntary funds or make sick insurance compulsory; essentially the federal government left matters to the states and states left them to private and voluntary programs.
The US did have some voluntary funds that provided for their members in the case of sickness or death, but there were no legislative or public programs during the late 19th or early 20th century. In the Progressive Era, which occurred in the early 20th century, reformers were working to improve social conditions for the working class.
Therefore the first proposals for health insurance in the US did not come into political debate under anti-socialist sponsorship as they had in Europe. Theodore Roosevelt — During the Progressive Era, President Theodore Roosevelt was in power and although he supported health insurance because he believed that no country could be strong whose people were sick and poor, most of the initiative for reform took place outside of government.
They were a typical progressive group whose mandate was not to abolish capitalism but rather to reform it. Inthey created a committee on social welfare which held its first national conference in Despite its broad mandate, the committee decided to concentrate on health insurance, drafting a model bill in The services of physicians, nurses, and hospitals were included, as was sick pay, maternity benefits, and a death benefit of fifty dollars to pay for funeral expenses.
This death benefit becomes significant later on. Costs were to be shared between workers, employers, and the state. They found prominent physicians who were not only sympathetic, but who also wanted to support and actively help in securing legislation. Times have definitely changed along the way.
There was disagreement on the method of paying physicians and it was not long before the AMA leadership denied it had ever favored the measure. They apparently worried that a government-based insurance system would weaken unions by usurping their role in providing social benefits.
Their central concern was maintaining union strength, which was understandable in a period before collective bargaining was legally sanctioned.
But because the reformer health insurance plans also covered funeral expenses, there was a big conflict. Reformers felt that by covering death benefits, they could finance much of the health insurance costs from the money wasted by commercial insurance policies who had to have an army of insurance agents to market and collect on these policies.
But since this would have pulled the rug out from under the multi-million dollar commercial life insurance industry, they opposed the national health insurance proposal. Other efforts during this time in California, namely the California Social Insurance Commission, recommended health insurance, proposed enabling legislation inand then held a referendum.
New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois also had some efforts aimed at health insurance. But in the Red Scare, immediately after the war, when the government attempted to root out the last vestiges of radicalism, opponents of compulsory health insurance associated it with Bolshevism and buried it in an avalanche of anti-Communist rhetoric.
Why did the Progressives fail? Opposition from doctors, labor, insurance companies, and business contributed to the failure of Progressives to achieve compulsory national health insurance.
In addition, the inclusion of the funeral benefit was a tactical error since it threatened the gigantic structure of the commercial life insurance industry.
Political naivete on the part of the reformers in failing to deal with the interest group opposition, ideology, historical experience, and the overall political context all played a key role in shaping how these groups identified and expressed their interests.
By now, medical costs for workers were regarded as a more serious problem than wage loss from sickness. Medical, and especially hospital, care was now a bigger item in family budgets than wage losses. Concerns over the cost and distribution of medical care led to the formation of this self-created, privately funded group.Federal health care reform legislation fails again to pass in the U.S.
Congress. By the end of the decade there are 44 million Americans, 16 % of the nation, with no health . The health insurance system we have in place today — a mix of private and government payers — has been a century in the making. Federal health care reform legislation fails again to pass in the U.S.
By the end of the decade there are 44 million Americans, 16 % of the nation, with no health insurance at all. The History of Healthcare in America by Jeff Griffin on Mar 07, America’s history of healthcare is a bit different than most first world nations.
Mar 13, · Any successful attempt to reform health care in the United States must accommodate two realities. Reality 1: The current system is increasingly inaccessible to many poor and lower-middle-class.
United States of America: The European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies is a partnership, hosted by the WHO Regional Office for Europe, which includes the Governments of Belgium, Finland.