The Affordable Care Act's Long Road to Political Reality

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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is the first health-care reform to pass Congress that will attempt to provide health insurance to all American citizens. It is not the first time that a health-care reform of this magnitude has been attempted. Previous attempts at health-care reform were not successful. The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was certain only at the 11th hour after much discussion and compromise between different factions within the government and private sector. President Clinton had argued during his 1992 presidential campaign that health-care reform was needed. At the time, 37 million Americans were without health insurance. He also pointed to the fact that the United States was the only modernized democracy that did not provide universal health-care coverage for its citizens. On September 22, 1993, President Clinton gave his kick-off speech to Congress on his proposed health-care reform. The reform included a mandate for employers to provide health insurance to all employees. These insurance plans would be offered through a regulated marketplace. The proposed reform was considered a great success by Democrats in Congress and in public opinion polls. However, by spring 1994 the proposed reform has been labeled as “too large, too complex, too costly, and too much government (Pfiffner).” Public opinion, which was fundamental to this legislation, had begun to shift. Although there was public consensus that the United States health-care system needed to be overhauled, there was no consensus on what needed to be done to fix it. The reform, ultimately, did not pass in Congress. Several factors were pointed to as causes for its failure. Along with the complexity... ... middle of paper ... ... References One Hundred Eleventh Congress of the United States of America. (n.d.). The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Retrieved 9 12, 2013, from http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr3590enr/pdf/BILLS-111hr3590enr.pdf Pfiffner, J. P. (n.d.). President Clinton's Health Care Reform Proposals of 1994. Retrieved from http://www.thepresidency.org/storage/documents/President_Clintons_Health_Care_Reform_Proposals.pdf United States Department of Labor. (n.d.). Affordable Care Act. Retrieved 9 12, 2013, from United States Department of Labor: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform/ US Department of Health & Human Services. (n.d.). Key Features of the Affordable Care Act By Year. Retrieved 9 12, 2013, from HHS.gov/HealthCare: hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/timeline/timeline-text.html Washington Post. (2010). LandMark. New York: PublicAffairs.

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