Health Care Reform in Politics

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Health Care Reform in Politics Due to the upcoming presidential election, the two major political parties, and their candidates, have been focusing on the primary problems that the nation will face. Chief among those problems is the future of Medicare, the national health-insurance plan. Medicare was enacted in 1965, under the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson, in order to provide health insurance for retired citizens and the disabled (Ryan). The Medicare program covers most people aged 65 or older, as well as handicapped people who enroll in the program, and consists of two health plans: a hospital insurance plan (part A) and a medical insurance plan (part B) (Marmor 22). Before Medicare, many Americans didn't have health insurance coverage, but since its inception the program has enrolled almost 40 million beneficiaries, who jointly fund the insurance program along with the national government (Carnegie). According to Dr. Don McCanne, a member of the Board of Directors of Physicians for a National Health Program, "Before the passage of Medicare in 1965, only 52% of persons age 65 and over had hospital insurance and less than 15% had adequate health insurance" (McCanne). The Medicare program has improved access to healthcare and improved the quality of life for millions of elderly members, and has provided insurance for millions of persons with disabilities. By reducing the burden of large medical bills, Medicare also has improved the economic status of the elderly. As Dorothy Price points out "Over its 33 year history, Medicare has channeled billions of dollars into the health care system, helping to foster enormous improvements in health care technology and medical education" (Carnegie). Unfortunately thou... ... middle of paper ... ... can and can't expect from the bill, and also analyzes some proposed solutions regarding healthcare costs. Marmor is a professor at Yale University, and has been called on by Congress several times for policy proposals and debate. He is considered an expert on health care reform. McCanne, Dr. Don. "Rebuilding Medicare for the 21st Century." Medicare4All.org 11 February 2000. 21 October 2000 *http://www.medicare4all.org/report/med 4.html*. Dr. Don McCanne, a member of the Board of Directors of the Physicians for a National Health Program, credits Medicare for giving millions of elderly and disabled persons medical insurance coverage. However, he also points out that the program is seriously under funded, and faces deficit problems in the future. In McCanne's opinion, government funding is the best way to alleviate the rising costs of Medicare.
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