Timeline of the Five Major Reforms in Healthcare

The History of US Healthcare Reforms

The graph below depicts a selection of five important events in US healthcare changes. Each event describes the particular dates when the activity occurred, the political stakeholders driving the changes, the political party proposing them, and the process's consequences. The goal is to establish the groundwork for an examination of the present discussions about abolishing the previous administration's ACA policies, as well as the role of political influence on the stability of the US healthcare business. Most of the reforms or proposals to change health care policies in the United States are surrounded by a vibrant political climate and sometimes take center stage in campaigns. During the presidency of Nixon, there were two competing proposals which include Senator Kennedy’s national health insurance, as well as the one by Nixon about comprehensive health insurance plan (Taylor et al., 2014). However, due to the scandal by the president of Watergate and subsequent resignation, the plans stalled in Congress.

President Carter’s presidency faced changes of rising costs of healthcare leading to the proposals of cost containment as well as further discussions on Kennedy’s insurance policy (Taylor et al., 2014). However, the recession period could not allow the plans to succeed. The health security act headed by the first lady to President Clinton also faced a lot of criticism for its coverage to Americans based on possession of a card as well as the cost (Taylor et al., 2014). As a result, little support was accorded by congress hence could not pass. Before enactment of PPACA in Obama administration, the campaigns were dominated by the health issue (Hastings, 2017). After negotiations with all the stakeholders, the bill was able to pass Congress and overcome filibusters of the Republican Party leading to one of the most comprehensive plans ever (Rosenbaum, 2011). Attempts by the current administration to repeal the same have not been futile since the act has led to millions of Americans accessing health care, as well as dropping the percentage of the budget allocation to around 17% (Obama, 2016).

Similarities and Differences in the Political Climate

Some of the similarities of both the current and past political climate include each administration using healthcare reforms as a campaigning tool, each government trying to make its changes, and the focus on insurance premiums as a basis for coverage (Hastings, 2017). However, differences such as current involvement of stakeholders unlike the past when the bill was debated in Congress, and the role of other agencies such as insurance companies and employer's resistance to the reforms unlike currently where there is little resistance, are evident.

Recurrent Trends in Healthcare Reforms

Despite these facts, some of the recurrent trends in healthcare reforms include the Medicaid improvements, coverage and cutting of costs to specific diseases and age groups, as well as the employment policies to cover for the insurance of the workers (Hastings, 2017). On a personal opinion, most Americans and the federal government need healthcare coverage despite an increase in taxes hence the necessity of the political movements trying to promote or implement their policies as the best. However, the standoff between the two factions has historically created filibusters which bar each side from achieving the required votes in Congress.


Hastings, D. (2017). Advancing Health Care Quality? From Medicare’s Passage to the 2016 Election. Journal Of Health & Life Sciences Law, 10(3), 3-29. Retrieved from https://www.healthlawyers.org/find-a-resource/news/healthlawjournal/Documents/Journal_June17.pdf

Obama, B. (2016). United States Health Care Reform. JAMA, 316(5), 525-532. http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2016.9797

Rosenbaum, S. (2011). The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Implications for Public Health Policy and Practice. Public Health Reports, 126(1), 130-135. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/003335491112600118

Taylor, J., Burr, J., & Forman, L. (2014). A Brief History on the Road to Healthcare Reform: From Truman to Obama. Beckershospitalreview.com. Retrieved 24 September 2017, from http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/news-analysis/a-brief-history-on-the-road-to-healthcare-reform-from-truman-to-obama.html%20

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