Since the 1960s, we’ve seen legislation arise out of a need to help businesses remain competitive in an increasingly global marketplace and to enable consumers access to care as more employers reduce costs and cut benefits.
The 1960s were a time of great economic expansion, However, unemployment was high and seniors were most likely to be living in poverty and without health coverage.
The Medicare and Medicaid Act in 1965 was one of the largest public health reform initiatives in our history, providing a safety net for retirement and the underserved. The legislation extended health coverage to almost all Americans aged 65 and older and provided healthcare services to low-income children and to the disabled. It was the basis for the Medicare/Medicaid system that exists today and covers more than 50 million Americans.
The need for businesses to remain profitable in a changing corporate landscape was the catalyst for the HMO Act of 1973, while the
Clinton administration’s effort to reform healthcare in the 1990s came from a need to help businesses stay competitive in a growing global economy.
Both legislative acts tried and failed to create systems of healthcare delivery that helped to control healthcare costs for businesses and consumers. Additionally, it was a recession that created the need for the Medicare Prescription Drug Act, which provided prescription drug coverage to millions of Medicare beneficiaries, among other benefits.
Today’s largest health reform initiative is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which grew out of a drastically downsized workforce unable to attain and afford health insurance and the financial peril of Medicare and Medicaid.. The ACA has had a dramatic impact on businesses, hospitals, health systems, health insurers, physicians and consumers alike.
This post was previously published by Transvisional Thinking.
August 06, 2015