Relationship of Government and Politics Overview
Attempts at having nationalized healthcare began in 1883 when Otto von Bismarck established health and medical care in Germany based upon an insurance model. Similar approaches have been adopted worldwide by nearly half of the world's sovereign nations including most of those in Western Europe. In most cases, government programs for financing these systems have evolved as part of a broader need of improving social benefit to the population.
The Eighty-Ninth Congress enacted more healthcare related legislation during its first session than had been passed in both sessions of Congress in the previous ten (10) year period. In addition, this Congress had the distinction of appropriating more money for healthcare than any of its predecessors. This success also resolved, at least for the time being, the debate (in favor of the government) as to the federal government's right to interfere in the private practice of medicine. As such, many believed that some form of national health insurance would be soon forthcoming.
Theodore Roosevelt first proposed national health insurance during his presidential campaign of 1912. Seven (7) times subsequent to this during the twentieth century, the subject would come up again for legislative debateùthe most successful being the experience of the Eighty-Ninth Congress and most recently during the Clinton administration.
President Franklin Roosevelt chose to not pursue a national health insurance initiative during his term of office due to concerns that such action would not be supported by certain Southern-based elements of the Democratic Party, the hospital and insurance industries, and the American Medical Association (AMA). Potential lack of support from these organizations it was believed would not bode well with respect to the passage of the Social Security program.
The most recent attempt to "nationalize" health insurance wa...