VII. Key Issues: Regulation & Reform >> C. Health Reform >> History of Health Reform (last updated 9.23.16)
- CDC. Table I. Timeline of selected legislation and events relevant to health insurance coverage, 1919–2007
- Timeline of Health Reform Efforts in the U.S. (Kaiser Family Foundation)
- Department of Health and Human Services: Timeline of Growth
- PBS. Health Care Crisis Timeline
- New York Times. A History of Overhauling Health Care
- History of health care reform in the United States (Wikipedia)
- HNN’s History of Healthcare Reform (George Mason University’s History News Network)
- A Brief History: Universal Health Care Efforts in the US (Physicians for a National Health Program)
- National Health Insurance—a Brief History of Reform Efforts in the U.S. (Kaiser Family Foundation)
- A Brief History on the Road to Healthcare Reform: From Truman to Obama. February 11, 2014)
- The Neoliberal Model Comes Home to Roost in the United States—If We Let It. (5.1.16) Waitzkin, Howard and Ida Hellander. Among its call for “socialist transformation” of the U.S. and a single payer health program, this article chronicles the history of health reform in the U.S., compares reform to efforts in Colombia and elsewhere, offers the concept of “neoliberal reform,” and details the failure of “managed competition” and the Affordable Care Act.
U.S. Health Reform Case Studies (under construction)
- Health Reform 1912-1920
- Health Reform Under FDR
- Health Reform Under Truman
- Health Reform Under Nixon
- Health Reform Under Carter
- Health Reform Under Clinton
- Health Reform Under GW Bush
- Health Reform Under Obama
- Presidential speeches and other presidential papers are available online from John Woolley and Gerhard Peters, The American Presidency Project.
- Affordable Care Act advocates Ezra Klein (then of The Washington Post) and Jonathan Cohn (of the The New Republic and author of Sick) discuss the challenges of passing the law in the United States (Video, January 24, 2010). Contains topics such as The problem of health insurance NIMBYism, Might Obama embrace the part of McCain’s plan he once attacked?, Public health care as the GOP’s Ragnarok, Why Obama must do health care this year, How 2009 is unlike 1994 , and Ezra and Jon’s reasons for health care optimism.
This is the source of their oft-cited advice not to disrupt Americans’ insurance coverage in the pursuit of reform.
- Altman, Stuart and David Schactman. Power, Politics, and Universal Health Care: The Inside Story of a Century-Long Battle. Prometheus Books, 2011.
- Blumenthal, David and James Morone. The Heart of Power: Health and Politics in the Oval Office. University of California Press, 2010. Relates the 75 year history of presidential efforts to reform the U.S. healthcare system.
- Jacobs, Larry and Theda Skopcol. Health Care Reform and American Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know, Revised and Updated Edition. Oxford University Press, 2012. In this updated edition, two of the nation’s leading experts on politics and health care policy provide a concise and accessible overview. They explain the political battles of 2009 and 2010, highlighting White House strategies, the deals Democrats cut with interest groups, and the impact of agitation by Tea Partiers and progressives. Jacobs and Skocpol spell out what the new law can do for everyday Americans, what it will cost, and who will pay. In a new section, they also analyze the impact the Supreme Court ruling that upheld the law. Above all, they explain what comes next, as critical yet often behind-the-scenes battles rage over implementing reform nationally and in the fifty states. Affordable Care still faces challenges at the state level despite the Court ruling. But, like Social Security and Medicare, it could also gain strength and popularity as the majority of Americans learn what it can do for them.
- Staff of the Washington Post. Landmark: The Inside Story of America’s New Health-Care Law-The Affordable Care Act-and What It Means for Us All. 2010.
- Starr, Paul. Remedy and Reaction: The Peculiar American Struggle over Health Care Reform, Revised Edition. Yale University Press, 2013.
- Starr, Paul. Social Transformation of American Medicine. Basic Books, 1984. Winner of the 1983 Pulitzer Prize and the Bancroft Prize in American History, this is a landmark history of how the entire American health care system of doctors, hospitals, health plans, and government programs has evolved over the last two centuries.