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luckyleftyme2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-12 09:48 AM
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the forgetting right

Obviously neither system is working well but at least in the United States if we can face the challenge of de-constucting the nanny state we have a chance of finding a better balance between forces than presently exists today. The extreme demand of the Unions are part of the. problem but in general the problem is that while most Americans understand the dire importance of reducing our deficit, most groups who are affected by deficit reductions think it should not be them and protest loudly the injustice. People have forgotten that if government does not take care of a problem, it does not mean that the problem will not be taken care of. Larger government also contributes to the higher cost of American products.

Although payroll taxes make hiring employees more expensive, and although I agree that the government should regulate less rather than more, I submit that these worker benefits are preferable over the large classes of virtual slave labor that exist in the countries with cheap labor. Our founding fathers believed in small government and took a long realistic assessment of human nature when they created our constitution. They attempted to arrive at balance among all the various factions of society. In my opinion the labor rights laws fit that model. Unions are another story.
for those of us old enough to remember the start of healthcare as we know it today it came about quite differently! now you must understand that we went through a world war and many many got to see how the other half lived. many of these young people wanted the country to have some of the good points that other nations already had like a healthcare program,a better retirement system and safety in the work place. Now healthcare orginally got national attention when we asked for national healthcare like england and other countries had. well when big business saw that it might possibly pass and they would have no say they not the unions(as the nerds would like you to believe)said they wanted to offer it to the employees rather than let the government handle it. you see at that time unions didn't have that much say in it-since google and others seem to purge or delete data you would probably have to look up news archives to get the real facts!
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luckyleftyme2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-12 09:57 AM
Response to Original message
1. here is a little info
With the Great Depression, more and more people could not afford medical services. In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Isidore Falk and Edgar Sydenstricter to help draft provisions to Roosevelt's pending Social Security legislation to include publicly funded health care programs. These reforms were attacked by the American Medical Association as well as state and local affiliates of the AMA as "compulsory health insurance." Roosevelt ended up removing the health care provisions from the bill in 1935. Fear of organized medicine's opposition to universal health care became standard for decades after the 1930s.<10>

During this time, individual hospitals began offering their own insurance programs, the first of which became Blue Cross.<11> Groups of hospitals as well as physician groups (i.e. Blue Shield) soon began selling group health insurance policies to employers, who then offered them to their employees and collected premiums. In the 1940s Congress passed legislation that supported the new third-party insurers. During World War II, Henry Kaiser used an arrangement in which doctors by passed tradition fee-for-care and were contracted to meet all the medical needs for his employees on construction projects up and down the West coast.<12> After the war ended, he opened the plan up to the public as a non-profit organization under the name Kaiser Permanente.

Following the second world war, President Harry Truman called for universal health care as a part of his Fair Deal in 1949 but strong opposition stopped that part of the Fair Deal.<13><14> However, in 1946 the National Mental Health Act was passed, as was the Hospital Survey and Construction Act, or Hill-Burton Act. In 1951 the IRS declared group premiums paid by employers as a tax-deductible business expense,<6> which solidified the third-party insurance companies' place as primary providers of access to health care in the United States.

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luckyleftyme2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-12 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. here is some more info
His successor's views on health insurance were not known in advance, but it soon became apparent that the new President, Harry S. Truman, would support the proposal enthusiastically and make it a key item in what he later labeled the "Fair Deal" program. On November 19, 1945, after the Japanese surrender, Mr. Truman sent a revised health message to Congress along with a re-drafted Wagner-Murray-Dingell bill. Thus, for the first time, the Congress had before it an official administration proposal for a general program of Government health insurance (sponsors called it National Health Insurance).

The next 5 years of conflict over this issue, which ended in yet another defeat for the proponents of Government health insurance, featured one of the notable political debates of modern times. And, as such, it was a singular example of the fifth element in the social welfare policymaking process-public debate and voter referenda. It is appropriate, therefore, to make use of that episode for illustrative purposes. This discussion will also point out some of the reasons why a program operating successfully in virtually every other industrialized country failed once again to be enacted in the United States.

When the revised Wagner-Murray-Dingell bill was first introduced, its supporters felt the time was propitious for passage. America had just won a great war. The United Nations was being born in a mood of optimism about the postwar world. The incumbent President had committed himself to press the health insurance issue vigorously. In addition, wartime public opinion polls had indicated broad public support for Government health insurance. A 1942 poll by Fortune magazine had found no fewer than 74 percent of the respondents in favor, and in the following year a nationwide Gallup poll recorded 59 percent in favor.

Yet appearances were deceptive. For one thing, the new President did not command the prestige enjoyed by his predecessor. Historians have come to admire President Truman's performance, but in the beginning the plain, blunt-spoken man from Missouri was widely regarded as an accident of history, and his opinions carried little weight. (In 1946 the President's popularity sagged to a record low of 32 percent.)

Another factor was the conservative tone of the postwar Congress, especially the House of Representatives and its key Ways and Means Committee. This was in part due to technical considerations: the malapportionment of many congressional districts in favor of rural areas; the existence of one-party States, coupled with the seniority system in Congress, which favored Representatives from "safe districts"; and the fact that American political parties are loosely structured and locally based, giving leaders relatively little power to impose "discipline" on party legislators. But there was also a war-delayed reaction to the New Deal--to the high taxes, regimentation and control imposed by the Government during the war years, and to big government in general. This reaction was exacerbated by the strains of conversion to a peacetime economy, which included a spurt of inflation and a wave of strikes.

Taken alone, these factors would not have posed an insurmountable obstacle to a health-insurance measure had there not also been a deep cleavage on the issue between major interest groups in the community.

One of the key elements in political decisionmaking involves bargaining or negotiations between various interest groups. But what if bargaining fails to produce agreement? What if there is an irreconcilable conflict? This is where the fifth element--public debate and voter referenda--enters the picture.

From time to time, political writers in this country have asserted the well-meaning but idealistic notion that America's Government is, or should be, controlled by public opinion--that legislators should behave as though public opinion polls are instructions on the part of the voters. Thus, if 59 percent of the electorate favor Government health insurance, the argument runs, it should be passed forthwith. But what if the 59 percent are only mildly in favor of the proposal, while the other 41 percent are strongly opposed?

The answer is that highly controversial legislation must be treated as a special case. No system of representative government can truly be equitable--nor can it survive in the long run--unless it takes into account the intensity with which opinions are held. Although the principle of majority rule is deeply ingrained in the Nation's political tradition, Americ.ans are equally committed to the principle that the majority must not tyrannize the minority, or deprive the minority of basic rights. As columnist Tom Wicker noted recently in The New York Times: "One of the features of the American political system, in fact, has been the restraints it exercises on 'pure' democracy--or what some call mob democracy. Allowing each state two senators, regardless of size and population, and interposing the electoral college between voters and candidates are only two examples." (3)

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