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Jonathan Oberlander

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

Chapter 2: The Long Struggle for Universal Health Care (1900s–Present)

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The Long Struggle for Universal Health Care (1900s–Present)
The long struggle for universal health care (1900s–Present)

The United States remains an international outlier, the only rich democratic country in the world with a large population lacking health insurance. Nearly one hundred years after the first proposal for national health insurance appeared in the United States, Americans are still debating the merits of health care reform, the perils of “socialized medicine,” and the tensions between individual liberty and government aid. Why has universal health insurance proven so difficult to achieve in the United States? How did efforts to expand insurance coverage shape the development of the U.S. medical care system? Finally, after a century dominated by failure, how did reformers manage to secure passage of the 2010 ...

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