Monday, June 09, 2008

Campaign Promises

There is a growing unrest in the nation, and a call to eliminate poverty that is caused by a lack of universal access to health care. The movement to correct this imbalance calls for universal health insurance mandates that protect workers against lost wages as well as the cost of health care.

The proposals are based on programs that exist in Germany and England.

The Socialist Party has long supported compulsory coverage and has encouraged presidential candidates to include this stance in their platform.

Various women's groups are also in support of the movement, particularly as it pertains to benefits that cover women's health issues.

Labor leaders have denounced the government intrusion and are supportive of requiring employers to provide insurance programs. The labor movement was in favor of making health insurance mandatory for low wage workers

The legislation seemed "advantageous for workers and doctors" because workers could "return to their jobs more quickly" with improved access to health care and physicians would "prosper if a growing number of patients could pay their fees," Crossen writes. However, she writes that private health insurers, fraternal organizations, pharmacists, manufacturers, labor unions, Christian Scientists, anti-Communists and physicians partnered to defeat the legislation for "wildly different motives."

Some labor unions maintained that the legislation would "lead to the determination of who was a good insurance risk," and some private health insurers criticized the legislation as "un-American," according to Crossen. In addition, many physicians maintained that the legislation "would insert the dubious judgment of the government between patient and doctor and cut their pay," Crossen writes. She writes, "In the end, not a single state passed a health insurance law"

As the debate continues more vocal groups shift the focus away from replacing lost wages and instead, are promoting ways to keep medical treatment affordable.

At least one presidential candidate has embraced the idea of change in the health care delivery system and has made that part of his campaign.

That candidate is Teddy Roosevelt, the Bull Moose candidate in the 1912 election.
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