The Road to Reform: The Future of Health Care in America

The Road to Reform: The Future of Health Care in America

The Road to Reform: The Future of Health Care in America

The Road to Reform: The Future of Health Care in America

Excerpt

President Bill Clinton's speech on health reform to the joint session of the Congress in September 1993 was an unprecedented departure. No other chief executive had ever addressed the Congress on the subject of health reform. The Health Security Plan he proposed was, however, anything but new. The issue of national health insurance first surfaced at the presidential level in the 1912 election campaign, when Theodore Roosevelt, running a three-cornered race for the White House against William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson, supported it. From one perspective, Roosevelt's advocacy of national health insurance was farsighted, coming eight decades before Clinton put the matter directly before Congress with a strong recommendation for prompt action. In the annals of social legislation, however, it is worth observing that Chancellor Bismarck had taken the initial steps to establish national health insurance in Germany in 1883, almost thirty years before Theodore Roosevelt incorporated it in his platform.

A number of other stops along the way between 1912 and 1994 in the legislative journey of national health . . .

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