John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Christopher West: President Richard Nixon- The Inventor of the U.S. Health Care System?

This piece was originally posted at FreeState Plus : Christopher West: President Richard Nixon- The Inventor of the U.S. Health Care System?

Whether you're a fan of HMO's (Health Maintenance Organizations) or not, there's one person as well as the Democratic Congress of 1971-73 or 92nd Congress, that you can thank. The people who brought employer based health insurance to America. Which basically means anyone with a good job, whether they work in the private or public sector, has health insurance partially paid for by your employer. And of course you pay the other part which is taken out of your paycheck. Apparently before we had HMO's we had a fairly efficient health care system as far as our costs. But not enough people were covered with health insurance. Which makes health care and health insurance more expensive for everyone else.

Which is one reason that Medicare and Medicaid were created in 1965. To provide government-run health insurance for senior citizens and low-income people who haven't retired yet. However you feel about President Nixon, he did make a contribution to health care reform in America. Whether you believe it's a positive contribution or not. I don't have a problem with HMO's as long as they are regulated properly, which they weren't before the 2010 Affordable Care Act. That included a Patient Bill of Rights in it, which essentially means that HMO's and health insurers, can't turn down people who need health insurance when get sick, or put lifetime caps on the amount that people can consume in their health care.

Basically as long as people pay for their share of their health insurance, they can't get dropped from their health coverage. If this was done back in 1971-72, maybe we don't have the most expensive health care system in the developed world right now. President Nixon, took a stab at health care reform, President Carter the same thing, President Clinton as well with his famous debacle. President George W. Bush and it took President Obama and a Democratic Congress with large majority's in both chambers to get it passed. All of this work and debates could've been avoided if HMO's were regulated properly from the start and we could've saved our health care system forty years of inefficiency.

If we had a Patient Bill of Rights from the start, we could have saved trillions on health care the last forty years. But perhaps President Nixon and the Democratic Congress then, couldn't predict the abuses that would've come in the future. Whether you're a fan of President Nixon or not and yes his main contribution and focus he gave to America was in foreign policy with Russia, China and ending the Vietnam War, he also made a contribution in environmental policy and in health care as well. And he may of had a good idea at the time, but didn't put the right regulations in place. To prevent the abuses and the costs that came in the future.

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