Health Care Reform, Its History

Subject: Law
Pages: 3
Words: 585
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

Early public health reform efforts

Health reforms are among one of the main agendas that the Obama administration has been struggling to address. The health reform issue has been a recurring one. It was in the early 1900s that the need to have a comprehensive health care program began to take shape (Halvorson 2007). There have been numerous attempts by some of the past American presidents to introduce health care reforms but with little success. Below is a brief history of health reforms in America;

Health reforms under President Roosevelt

This took place between the year 1934 to the year 1939. It was during this time that the economy had been performing trebly. This was known as the great depression. The country at this time had been suffering from some of the highest unemployment rates in the history of America. Two committees had been set up to come up with a report that would help the government provide better medical care to its citizens. The report suggested that the government should subsidize the medical fees and expand health facilities.

Health reforms under President Truman

This was after the Second World War. President Roosevelt had promised after the war he would introduce health insurance in the bill of rights. When President Truman took over he had no choice but to take up the mantle. The act, however, was never enacted as it faced strong opposition while being discussed in congress.

Health reforms in the years 1960-1965

It was during this period that congress passed the Kerr-mills act (Halvorson 2007). This act gave states a substantial amount of money to offer health care coverage to the elderly.

Health reforms in the 1990s

It was around this time that Bill Clinton had been the president of the United States of America. He set up a task force that was chaired by the first lady at that time Hillary Clinton. The report that was developed after the task force had conducted wide research suggested that every American should be issued a health security card. However, the health reform was opposed by congress.

“Obamacare” health reform program

The overall aim of this health reform program is to provide Americans with affordable insurance cover while reducing the health care spending by the government. It also makes it illegal to charge women higher rates than men in health facilities. The health care reform program advocates that all American citizens above the age of 65 years be able to access drugs at cheaper rates and have access to free preventive health care (Pipes 2010). The health care program also seeks to protect Americans from health care rationing companies that have been swindling Americans with their hard-earned money for ages.

Impact of Obamacare on the health care system

The program encourages preventive health care services. This is aimed at reducing government spending in the health sector. The program also advocates that senior citizens be able to access free medical care and also purchase drugs needed for their treatment at cheaper rates (Pipes 2010). It is important to however note that the program aims at regulating health care insurance and not regulating health care services.


Americans for a long time have been looking forward to a health care program that would address their needs. Obamacare comes at a time when Americans have been feeding up with paying high insurance rates. Obamacare has gotten support from hospitals, doctors, and patients. It may finally give Americans their long waited solution to the health care insurance menace.


Halvorson, G. C. (2007). Health care reform now! a prescription for change. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, a Wiley Imprint.

Pipes, S. (2010). The truth about Obamacare. Washington, DC: Regnery Pub.