Skip to main content

Health care goes all the way back to Franklin D. Roosevelt. None of the New Deal programs featured any sort of universal health care for any of the United States citizens. Under Roosevelt, the passing of the Social Security Act was a revolutionary piece of legislation. No one even had the schema to dream of a universal system giving the citizens of the United States Citizens universal benefits.

Roosevelt’s immediate successor was Harry Truman. He was the one that said that Roosevelt’s legislation was a cornerstone. He also said that Roosevelt’s legislation was in no way complete. Truman said that the average American at the time (1948) could not afford basic health care. Sound familiar? Truman pushed for a universal health care system where Americans could afford care.

It wasn’t until 1965 that the United States created a universal health care system. This was the year that Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law. His speech was quite moving. He said something to the effect that no senior will go broke having to pay for their health care. No working persons filfilling the duty of taking care of their elderly parents should have to sacrifice their savings, lose their homes to pay for outrageous health care costs. This was the first mile stone in universal health care.

Then there was Ted Kennedy. The Senator from Massachusetts ran for President in 1980. His speech was wild. He said that he had a father who suffered from a stroke, and the father had access to health care because he could afford it. He had a son with cancer. Same thing, Ted kennedy could afford health care, and he could afford the very best. Kennedy promised that it would be his preogative that every man, woman and child in America should have access to health care. But he lost the election to Jimmy Carter.

I cannot remember what jimmy Carter did to help health care, but I know he was always criticizing Ted kennedy for his health care initiatives. I need to find out more about what Jimmy Carter did for health care.

In the early 90s, Bill Clinton was the president. Once again, the fight for universal health care presented itself in the chambers of congress. Bill assigned Hillary the chairperson of a task force colloquially known as “HillaryCare.” I am not sure which initiatives HillaryCare sought to resolve. All I know is that HillaryCare was fought with horrible opposition. There were a series of attack ads called “Harry & Louise.” Nothing ever happened from Hillary Care.

But in the mid 90s, Hillary did make strides in establishing one Universal health care system. 1996 saw the passage of CHIP–Children’s Health Insurance Program. This provides excellent health insurance benefits to children from low-income families. Thus, Hillary has already chalked up a victory for universal health care.

Six years ago, the fight for universal health care resurfaced. Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. This act established a marketplace, it eliminated pre-existing conditions, it levelled the charges for healthy and sick people–sick people no longer had to pay more for coverage. The law created tax credits for families with qualifying incomes. This is a governement tax credit lessening the cost of monthly premiums for families and individuals.

The Affordable Care Act greatly reduced the barriers of entry holding individuals and families back from purchasing health insurance. However, the coverage now accesible to families is not universal. What I mean is that families purchase insurance from health insurance companies. Health insurance companies craft health plans to offer to the masses–the plan structure is a one-size-fits-all plan framed up with a certain set of benefits. However, there are several plans with the benefits consumers seek.

I say all this because one Democratic Candidate in particular chooses to replace the Affordable Care act. I am speaking about Bernie Sanders. Sanders is hell-bent about pushing Medicare for All. His system has been around since 2009.

Sanders wants to do away with deductibles. He wants to replace private health insurance companies with a single-payer system that offers coverage to everyone and anyone.

20 million plus Americans have signed up for coverage through the Marketplace. This is good. Then 29 million more Americans still do not have health coverage. Then there are the Republican candidates who are staunchly opposed to ObamaCare.

The fate of health care for the masses rests in the hand of the next president. One thing’s for sure. It has taken 80 years to see any sort of health care for the masses. It would be a shame to wipe out the progress of 80 years.

  1. Roosevelt
  2. Truman
  3. Johnson
  4. Kennedy
  5. Jimmy Carter
  6. Hillary Clinton/Bill Clinton
  7. Barack Obama
  8. Bernie Sanders

Millions of individuals and families today cannot afford health insurance. The Affordable Care Act helped 20 million families gain access to affordable health insurance, yet 29 million people lack health coverage in year three of the Health Insurance Marketplace.

The health care law allowed for Medicaid to expand rapidly in all states. However, about 20 states chose not to expand Medicaid, and millions of people do not qualify for coverage for this reason.

The Affordable Care Act

Leave a Reply