The United States Public Policy

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Healthcare has been at the forefront of United States public policy for decades. Ever since President Roosevelt proposed healthcare reform during his 1912 run for president, reform has been a policy position often espoused in American politics, culminating with Social Security in the 1930s, Medicare in the 1960s, and finally the Affordable Care Act in 2010 (Palmer 1). While the goal of the Affordable Care Act is to provide care for every American, the United States has never fully adopted a single payer system; a healthcare system that provides universal care to every American. Furthermore, current systems within the United States that maintain single-payer attributes are subject to scrutiny from politicians and activists alike. While…show more content…
In the article “What is Single Payer”, Physicians for a National Health Program define single-payer healthcare as “national health insurance…” whereas “...All residents of the U.S. would be covered for all medically necessary services...” (1-2). This is, of course, in stark contrast to the United State’s former system: employer based health insurance. Public opposition to the system undoubtedly lead to the Affordable Care Act (which fits within the aforementioned definition), and many wish to continue these reforms. Physicians for a National Health Program, a group that supports single payer, contend that a single payer system is necessary, for their estimates show that, “premiums would disappear; 95 percent of all households would save money” under a single payer system (2). Nevertheless, the promises of more productive and accessible care are at odds with certain findings. Deane Waldman, author of “Articles: Five Strikes Against Single Payer Healthcare” found that, historically, there have been five recurring problems associated with single payer healthcare: price controls, long waiting periods, rationing of care, inefficiency, and exorbitant costs. Waldman explains that price controls, such as price caps on pharmaceutical drugs which, in turn, destroyed Italy’s pharmaceutical industry (3-4). Waldman continues by elaborating on the woes of Canada’s system, suggesting that some Canadians literally died while waiting for care. She argues that care was
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