Professor : Mrs. Favresse | Maxime Cozien & Raphaël Iscar-Gutierrez |
Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Defense | obama’s Health care reform |
In many developed countries, health care is provided by the state as a free service for its citizens.
In exchange, people have to pay a fixed fee. This is a model where each citizen pays for others even if they don’tneed any health care.
It is a system based on the solidarity which is common in European developed countries.
In response to this European socialism, America is the leader as one of the most powerful countries in the world with its capitalistic model.
Since its creation, America has always been THE land where individualism is at the top of its citizens’ minds.
The American “self-made man” pictureillustrates the thought that anyone who becomes wealthy by his or her own means, regardless of how he or she achieved that wealth, is a hero.
We can also find this way of thinking in the health care system as Americans are afraid to pay for others.
Although it is the richest country in the world, there are social disparities, particularly in access to health care coverage.
As the first blackpresident was elected on November 2008, a whisper of change could be heard throughout the United States of America.
Indeed, on March 23rd 2010, the biggest change in America’s health care history was made when Obama’s Health care reform was signed into a law.
How has Obama been able to make a large reform on health care in a country where individualism is prized and where politicsare more focused on the struggle between Democrats and Republicans than serving the population’s interests?
I. Health Care & US: A historical difficulty added to a political system dysfunction?
A. quick health care history
The story between the United States of America and health care did not begin on November 2008 when Obama was elected.
It started in 1912, when former presidentTheodore Roosevelt campaigned on the Progressive Party ticket promising national insurance, along with women’s suffrage, safe conditions for industrial workers and other social issues. He compared his program to the German health system for old-age people and for insurances. It was the first time that an American Republican president, considered to be a capitalist country leader, wanted to imitatean European health system, a socialist one.
But with the creation of his new party, he divided the Republican party and lost the election against the Democrat Woodrow Wilson. He was unable to turn his health reform into reality.
Seventeen years later during the Great Depression, the Baylor Hospital in Dallas created a prepaid program with a local teaching union. It is thought to be the firstexample of modern health insurance.
In 1931, the first estimates of health coverage costs were made. Doctor Ray Lyman Willbur estimated that average cost of health care was around 250 dollars per year for a family.
Dr Micheal Abraham Shadid, a Lebanese immigrant, presented himself to be the pioneer in health organization. Indeed, his health union association provided health care in exchange fora flat fee from members whether or not they needed treatment or to make a hospital visit.
In November 1932, Willbur commission recommended the expansion of a social health care system by saying that the US should expand group medical practices and end the group repayment system in order to spread financial risk. But this idea faced chiefly medical associations’ critics who argue that this healthcare program is a “socialist” one, an ideology which is feared in the US.
In 1934, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal omitted the health care issue and, more precisely, the question of health insurance.
Working groups were created to focus on social security and unemployment insurance and to discuss a national health insurance program, but all of those matters were not seriously considered....