On October 23, Patrick McLean, Director of Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service gave a speech about reforming health care policies. McLean spent most of his speech illustrating the transition and progression of healthcare over time.
In the early 1900s, health care was strictly right winged “sick insurance,” which was the referral of Healthcare to socialized medicine. Healthcare was thought of as a socialist concept and strongly rejected. By the 1930s, government activism created the New Deal that gave the country Social Security and the American Medical Association. When the ‘60s came, people were beginning to have health care benefits in the workplace. President Lyndon B. Johnson pushed Medicare and Medicaid through Congress.
Medicare has a single payer—the government. Whereas, Medicaid is funded by state and federal government. Having these new entitlements meant that the government won’t run out of money for these policies.
However, along with the increase of medical costs comes the increase of people uninsured. According to McLean, by 2010, 50 million Americans didn’t have insurance— compared to the 31 million in 1987. McLean argued that today’s current system is highly inequitable and costly in relative and absolute terms. There are mixed terms of health results and labor markets often distort contact labor. Employee Research Institute shows that 30.8% of health care insurance is given through family-employer relationships. McLean calls this a “positive movement” towards Obamacare.
In 2009, Obama said that “Healthcare reform cannot wait.” Later that year, anti-healthcare protest and complaint his politicians hard. In 2012 healthcare hit the Supreme Court and public option appeared to die down. The expansion of access was getting closer to the Obamacare goal.
In an interview, McLean commented that the aim of his Healthcare Reform speech is to get health care profession students interested in politics. “Non-doctor politicians are making all the policy other than those (healthcare professionals) in actual position” says McLean. He believes that it is important for students in the field to be knowledgeable about their field. Healthcare reform will change everything on how these future healthcare professionals will practice. “As imperfect as [Obamacare] is, it’s the best bill to get through” McLean said. “A lot more people can now be covered, which is our goal of balance. There are always going to be concerns about cost” says McLean, “but we have to go forward.” Quality coverage needs to cover everyone. McLean hopes to engage more healthcare students in the policy process and inform them of the debate over policy. Healthcare reform is in the hands of politicians, and McLean has a strong belief that it should be in the hands of healthcare professionals as well. The Legislative battle is having 10-13 million more people covered. That goal is something Obamacare looks forward to achieving.