The failure of health care reform

All of these proposals miscarried during 1994. There is no single cause for their failure. However, because the major initiative was President Clinton’s the primary responsibility must also be his. Most importantly, President Clinton took too long to deliver his plan. Public and congressional attitudes were receptive in 1993, but the full plan was not delivered until November and not considered seriously until early 1994. By that time public opinion had shifted into skepticism about government’s ability to run effective programs.

The wait also allowed opponents of major reform to Marshall their forces. Moreover, the Health Security Act, when finally delivered, was too large and cumbersome to explain clearly to Congress, the public, or opinion leaders. Finally, the political weakness of Clinton’s electoral mandate (43 percent of the popular vote) and the ineptness of his administration in selling the plan meant that he could not put together a winning coalition. (Anders & Hulse). Summary The American health care system is a mixture of private individual behavior, private corporate endeavors, and government policy.

Lack of coordination characterizes the provision of and payment for services. This system is increasingly dominated by third-party payments, and it absorbs 14 percent of the GDP. Other nations have more comprehensive systems of health care, but severe cost inflation is a major problem in most countries. American health care lags behind the rest of the world on basic measures of health, and it suffers serious problems of access, cost, and quality (Smeeding). The most important problem in healthcare, shared by many nations, is its soaring cost to society.

The chief causes of cost escalation in the United States are growing numbers of elderly, overspecialization, third-party payments, modern medical technology, “service intensity. ” Federal tax policy, and the public’s exg-generated expectations of medical science. U. S. public policy in the health field prior to 1965 was largely concerned with public health in regard to regulating and licensing drugs and food, supporting health research, funding hospital construction, and minor efforts aimed at improving the health of the poor. U. S. health care policy was still in its infancy.

This situation was revolutionized in 1965 with the passage of Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare provides hospital insurance and voluntary medical insurance for those sixty-five and older. Medicaid is a cooperative state-federal program offering health care services to the poor. Funded from general revenues, it support a variety of such services, varying state to state. My own thoughts on the issue Health and medicine are basic concerns of American citizens. Annual expenditures from public and private sources for health care amount to one of every seven dollars of the Gross Domestic Product.

President Bush has offered three options for the social security problem and all of them include private accounts. Two of them also include some cuts in benefits so that the program will become solvent. It is envisioned that after 75 years, Social Security will become solvent but will not include private accounts (Kennedy). One reason why other nations achieved better health results for a smaller percentage of their incomes was that they probably put more emphasis on preventive medicine. I think that the most economical health benefits to the greatest number are achieved by preventive medicine.

Immense numbers of lives and billions of dollars have been saved by campaigns to eradicate many kinds of diseases. More of the same kinds of savings could be achieved through medical surveys of school children and the general population (Kennedy). Some citizens formed health maintenance organizations that contracted to pay physicians a flat fee entitling members of the group to all of the health care they might need. This can give physicians incentives to practice preventive health care. Of course, many factors in addition to doctors, drugs and hospitals affect health.

On their own, many individuals could improve their health through regular exercises, weight control, improved nutrition and reduction of cigarette and alcohol consumption. The health of all citizens would benefit from greater government efforts to clean up the air and water supplies. Better housing and clothing could help many (Rashi). In planning for the social security and Medicare programs, I think that the right choice is the consolidation of approaches so that all sectors or categories of poverty will be addressed. More succinctly, I guess, that the order and prioritization of these categories is the more decisive approach.

For instance, a poverty policy maker must really incorporate various elements of poverty in evaluating what programs to apply first to make poverty alleviation more effective. Should we first reduce the population so that there will be more resources at hand and there will not be homelessness, sickness, diseases, etc.? Or should we prioritize the education and empowerment of these poor people so that they are equipped to compete in an open market environment? Should we reorient the people with new values and characters so that they will not have a culture or poverty?

These seems to be simple questions yet the answers to these questions are the most relevant, timely and effective response in combating the long time social upheavals of poverty. The primary approach should start with the inequality issue of poverty. It shall primarily start with the resource allocations and population control. Most of these types of poverty programs are undertaken by large agencies. Some of these components are population control, environmental protection, coastal water management, etc. In the end, there should be no discrimination based on race, culture, religion, sex or position in society.

Treatment is to be determined according to need, benefit, and the responsible use of resources. Legislation related to discrimination, harassment and equal opportunity must be observed both in the spirit and the letter of the law. Grievance issues are to be addressed speedily and fairly. In sum, if I could affect the social system programs, I would make it more equitable and accessible to all the United States citizens, regardless of their color, race, creed, and/or religion.


Anders, S. and Hulse, D. Social Security: The Past, the Present and Options for Reform. Retrieved April 4, 2007 at:

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