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Review of President Clinton’s and Obama’s Health Care Policies

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Assignment 2 – Historical Perspective

PAD 510

“An Review of President Clinton’s and Obama’s Health Care Policies”

Bessie B Fletcher, SU200113478

Professor, Dr. Phillip Neeley, Jr.

Strayer University – Fall Quarter 2013

November 15, 2013


     Until now, the United States stood alone as the only industrialized modern country in the

world not to offer universal health care.  Despite much debate, the Patient Protection and

Affordable Care Act was passed by the U.S. Congress and then signed into law by President

Barack Obama on March 23, 2010.  The purpose of the Act is to provide U.S. citizens with

quality and affordable health care.          

     The context of the Act includes mandatory health care coverage as mandated by legislature.  

Employed citizens without health care coverage will be penalized by the IRS. Coverage will be

effective January 1, 2014 and open enrollment started October 1, 2013 to allow comparison of

rates in the market exchange of states by phone or online. The Act requires affordable plans to

lower out of pocket expenses and accept pre-existing conditions. The states are expected to

expand medicaid for the unemployed but many states have opted out until further notice.

       Sadly, congress continues to operate on a non-partisan basis and have gone to great

lengths in order to prevent funding of the Act.  But funding is critical and citizens must realize

that universal government healthcare is not free and it does not always cost less than private

healthcare.  In addition, implementation efforts of the Act, since October 1, 2013, have been

nothing but total chaos.  The government health care website crashed and

had only completely enrolled 26 citizens in 30 days!        

     However, driving down the cost to taxpayers is the prime motivator in implementing this Act.

  With a quarter of the population already covered through a government program, instituting

further mandates may prevent costs from increasing. The emergency room abuse has caused a

burden on the government, both at the state and federal level. People should be allowed to buy

simple and cheap major medical policies for no-frills coverage. If such a policy is not available in all

states, people should be allowed to cross state lines to  purchase it.

 Official Actors:

     The official actors or participants in the policy making process are constitutionally involved.

Their position in government gives them the authority to develop policy. These participants

include the Executive Branch (U. S. Presidents); the Legislative Branch (Congress), and Cabinet

Heads (Administration).  Often policies mirror the beliefs of a political party.  Social programs

such as the Affordable Care Act was defined and managed by the Democrats.  

     For decades, affordable health care was on the agenda, especially during the Clinton and

Obama administrations. Data revealed that the American healthcare crisis is actually one of

affordability rather than access to healthcare. The percentage of people who cannot find

healthcare is low; but as the cost of health coverage increases, many cannot afford the healthcare

that is available because incomes are decreasing.  According to the U.S. Department of Health

and Human Services, “the U.S. currently provides coverage to approximately 28 percent of its

citizens through various state-sponsored programs based on income levels, age or veteran status.

Since the United States has a for-profit private health care industry, the costs bore by the

government outweigh those of other country's universal health care coverage. The U.S. spends

15 percent of its GDP on health care coverage for only a quarter of its citizens.”            

Unofficial Actors:

     The researchers, experts, and reporters are unofficial actors and are important to the policy

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