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Roy T. Meyers

In: Guide to U.S. Health and Health Care Policy

Chapter 9: Budgeting and Health Care Policy (1970s–Present)

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Budgeting and Health Care Policy (1970s–Present)
Budgeting and health care policy (1970s–present)
Roy T.Meyers

The creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965 put health policy on the path to becoming the largest category in the federal budget. The federal government had long been involved in various activities to promote health; for example, spending on facilities for veterans’ medical care began early in the nineteenth century. By 1953, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953–1961) created the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW), the federal government regularly conducted public health investigations, regulated food safety, financed hospital construction and medical education, and made grants for biomedical research.

Of course, periodically during the twentieth century, Congress and the president considered but rejected establishing a national health insurance system. The legislative breakthrough ...

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