In this paper, a chronological historic review of the evolution of healthcare will be discussed. The paper will outline the development of healthcare policies that led to the current healthcare insurance policies. This essay seeks to show the evolution of healthcare insurance cover from the 1960s to date. Several proposals that laid the basis of the current healthcare policies and the political environment surrounding these developments will be discussed.
The Inception of Insurance Policies. The 1940s
The blue shield company started to sell its Group-health insurance policies to employers around this period. The employers would later offer the policies to their employees and collect the premiums directly from their earnings (Dranove, 2006). During this period, Congress passed a very crucial law that supported third-party insurers (Dranove, 2006). The enactment of the National Mental Act paved the way for public access to health care through third-party insurance companies.
Elderly Insurance Policies. The 1950s
The healthcare system was further developed to include the public. During this period, the government of the United States began the process of constructing a system whereby the elderly would receive medical care without a fee. This was done through direct payment to medical service providers for the treatment of welfare clients who included the elderly (Dranove, 2006). In 1951, President Eisenhower opposed health insurance under social security in contradiction to his promise to help the poor by reducing the cost of medical care (Dranove, 2006).
Medicare and Medicaid Programs. The 1960s
Despite the resistance from insurance companies who opposed the enactment of the Medicare and Medicaid programs in 1965, President Lyndon was determined to accept them (Andreoli, Musser, & Reiser, 2014). He established and signed into law the Medicare program on July 30, 1965, a year after he was elected as president (Andreoli, Musser, & Reiser, 2014). Those opposed to his programs argued that it would reduce the quality of healthcare. The Medicare program is a social insurance program overseen and funded by the government (Andreoli, Musser, & Reiser, 2014).
Proposal of Healthcare Policies. The 1970s
During this period, healthcare insurance became integrated nationally. The first proposal by Martha Griffiths was to have national health insurance without any cost-sharing arrangement (Dranove, 2006). Later in the year, another proposal by Senator Jacob Javits suggested that healthcare should be extended to all. However, he proposed that the cost-sharing aspect and coverage limitations should be maintained (Dranove, 2006). Lastly, a bipartisan national health insurance bill proposed by Senator Ted Kennedy was tabled in the congress (Dranove, 2006).
Enactment Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985. The 1980s
During this time, the proposals made in the previous decade began to take effect. In 1985, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, COBRA, was introduced (Dranove, 2006). This act gave some employees the right to access health care insurance cover even after their terms of service expired. The act replaced the 1974 Employee Retirement Income Security Act that restricted the cover to current employees only (Dranove, 2006).
Clinton’s Healthcare Plan. The 1990s
Bill Clinton’s major concern in his administration was the healthcare reforms. The first lady Hilary Clinton headed the health care reform campaigns. However, Clinton’s healthcare plan was not enacted into law during his tenure due to political reasons (Dranove, 2006).
Emergency Medical Care. The 2000s
The healthcare insurance debates became more progressive during the Bush era. In 2001, the bill of rights almost gave the patients an exclusive right to healthcare (Dranove, 2006). This policy proposed the provision of emergency medical care to anyone regardless of his or her health insurance status (Dranove, 2006). Nonetheless, the debate received overwhelming opposition and it did not pass the congress.
The paper has clearly outlined the development of healthcare policies from the 1940s to the 2000s. It has outlined the processes involved in the development of healthcare insurance policies. The paper has shown the gradual improvement and the difficulties experienced in developing healthcare insurance covers that are enjoyed today in the United States.
Andreoli, K. G., Musser, L. A., & Reiser, S. J. (2014). Health Care for the Elderly: Regional Responses for National Policy Issues. New York: NY: Routledge.
Dranove, D. (2006). The Economic Evolution of American Health Care: From Marcus Welby to Managed Care Paperback. New York: NY: Princeton University Press.