As I was putting my thoughts together for this editorial, I read Peanuts in the Sunday comics, and found a great health care reform analogy. It was the annual scene of Lucy holding the football and encouraging Charlie Brown to kick it. Charlie pointed out that she has pulled it away just as he tries to kick so many times before, so why should he try again this year? Lucy responds that because she has done it so many times, the odds are now in his favor. Well, you know what happens.
Explore this issue:December 2007
One of the major issues of the 2008 presidential election appears to be health care reform. For some of our readers, the concept of health care reform is new, but for others this issue raises memories of the 1993 Clinton health plan. Students of history know that like Charlie Brown’s attempted kick, this topic has been the focus of attention several times, going back almost 100 years. May I suggest for your reading the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Social Transformation of American Medicine by Paul Starr, from which most of the history for this editorial comes.
A Very Brief History of Health Care Reform
Theodore Roosevelt supported the concept of social insurance (including health insurance), but the election of Woodrow Wilson and the US entry into World War I returned the government to a more conservative stance on social issues with an end to this attempt at compulsory health insurance.