Discussion Board 9
We are continuing our conversation from last week where we discussed the concept of health insurance. This week we will focus on America’s establishment of “social insurance.”
The postwar decades brought leaping advances to medicine and social health insurance.
The postwar decades include the 1920’s to the 1930’s that followed World War I, and the 1940’s to the 1960’s that followed World War II.
Social insurance (a liberal idea) had a huge focusing event between the wars (the Great Depression) and Americans decided to set aside their classical liberalism perspective for a modern liberalism perspective. We went from being “individualistic” to a more “collectivist” society. Keep in mind, not all Americans changed their minds and hearts; the country was just as polarized then and we are now…
Advances in medicine during, and following World War I, included new techniques, equipment, and drugs for surgery, as well as an explosive need for rehabilitation medicine (physical therapy) and psychiatric services. More soldiers were surviving battlefield injuries but after returning from war, could not re-join the workforce because of their disabilities. The American people could not stand seeing these war veterans in a destitute state, so a national movement started with an aim to take care of the veterans. Modern warfare had increased the maiming and killing power. Unfortunately, poor sanitation and the spread of disease remained a major killer of soldiers. In fact, it is believed that returning soldiers from Europe brought the first influenza pandemic to America.
Advances in medicine during and following World War II, included even better techniques, equipment, and drugs for surgery, more allied health professionals rendering aid on the field of battle, restructured hospital systems that emphasized experimentation for contributions to science, and most important: the discovery of antibiotics and chemicals to sanitize the jungles of the pacific war theater. Antibiotics just about wiped out death due to wound infection and chemicals (like DDT) killed the mosquitoes that transmitted malaria in the tropical climates of the pacific theater.
To fight these wars, America ramped up their industrialization and scientific research-seems that resources and advanced technology helped to win the wars. Hospitals now became hospital systems where medical school+research laboratory+hospital+rehab. facility all congregated on the same campus, facilitating huge advances in medical science.
Following the postwar decades, Physician authority and status shot through the roof-Americans started putting the physician on a pedestal…notice a theme developing here? Physician status improved after wars.
Now, we need to address what America was doing about health insurance during these years.
We had a focusing event between the wars that caused Americans to support Social Security:
Here is how American politicians compromised on the Social Security Act of 1935:
In the 1960s, modern liberalism seemed to replace classical liberalism again.
These themes are social justice based:
In 1965, we amended the Social Security Act and finally added health insurance:
Medicare came to be:
Different parts of Medicare cover different things (Wow-talk about complicated!)
Folks on Medicare are frustrated with the complexity, here is one example (it is called the “doughnut hole”):
The other part of social insurance is what the federal government labeled at Medicaid.
California re-named Medicaid and call it Medi-Cal.
There are several types of Medi-Cal social health care insurance depending on how much the family makes in annual earnings (this is called “means testing” where “means” is how much money you make):
To prepare for the Discussion Board question and answers, watch this video (8 minutes):
Episode 2: How Does Universal Healthcare Work? California Physicians Alliance (CaPA):
Now that you have a basic definition of universal healthcare, do this before answering the discussion board question: Explore the opposing position against universal healthcare by research these questions (in google search format):
“why is universal health care bad for america”
“what are the disadvantages of universal health care”
Discussion Board Question: Every issue has two sides, it is important to know both sides of the issue before deciding where you stand on an issue. Universal health care has been proposed in California’s legislature numerous times and defeated each time. The public needs to understand why. Here’s the question: What is your primary reason (means just one) in support of universal health care, and what is your primary reason for opposing universal health care? You need to come up with both to answer the question.
Then respond to one classmate’s posting.
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