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Health Reform Plan - Research Paper Example

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When Bill Clinton delivered a popular speech in September 1993, the main agenda of the proposed plan entailed an enforced mandate for employers to give health insurance coverage to their employees (Bowman, 1994). This was to be done through competitive and closely regulated…
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Running head: Why did the Clinton Health Reform Plan in the 1990s never pass? When Bill Clinton delivered a popular speech in September 1993, the main agenda of the proposed plan entailed an enforced mandate for employers to give health insurance coverage to their employees (Bowman, 1994). This was to be done through competitive and closely regulated health maintenance organizations (Bowman, 1994). Most critics of the reform agree in three interrelated reasons for its failure: politicization, bad timing, and human error.
One critical reason for the failure inheres in the fact that health care is a too big, dangerous, and convoluted area to delve in. When Clinton administration took office, it did not prioritize health reform per se because it fashioned the supposedly reform to fit their political agenda. The task force, which was constituted to construct the policy, was made up of over 30 working groups with over 500 participants (Yankelovich, 1995). What Clinton and his adviser failed to know was that congress is a political body whose profession is only to make the most politically viable policies, but not policies for public significance. This way, the resultant policy was not inclined to benefit ordinary citizens because the political reality is that healthcare benefits represent income to few players, who benefit from the health industry and whose interest is to ensure that policies favour them. Therefore, the politician and the reform body mistook good policy for good politics by creating a bill which was fit for political mileage rather than political process.
Moreover, the Clinton administration did not appreciate the need for a national strategy to sell the plan to the people. Medical coverage would have been a source of anxiety for all Americans as well as voters (Yankelovich, 1995). Failure to involve Americans resulted to what is referred to as human error. One angle of the human error lies in the fact that with 84 per cent of Americans holding health insurance, they were deeply afraid of losing their benefits (Toner, 1993). As a result, whenever the public was interviewed concerning their satisfaction on the old health coverage, most of them rated the services as either ‘very good’ or ‘good’, and this made it very hard to reform the system.
Democrats have been avoiding the repeat of the idea following the reform debacle, and this attitude has been a foremost impediment to change.There are several recommendations for president Obama based on the failure of this reform. First, there is no fact in the idea that health reform is not inevitable in the United States because many agencies profit from it and they would advocate for status quo. Secondly, many Americans are for the status quo and any attempt to bring a reform is a threat to ones votes. Any health reform, therefore, should be preceded by education to the anxious insured that the plan is in their own interest. In addition, this policy is controversial and debate is inevitable. Finally, financing the reform is not only a formidable challenge, but is also constitutionally bogged as far as president’s powers are concerned. This is because the constitution gives some rights to those with vested interests to make change impossible by complicating the healthcare reform. Therefore, with this knowledge, Obama administration should devise the best strategy to approach the reform without being politicized and misunderstood by the public.
Bowman, K.H. (1994). The 1993-1994 Debut! On Health Care Reform: Did the Polls Mislead the Policy Makers? Washington: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.
Toner, R. (1993). Clinton’s Health Plan: Poll on Changes in Health Care Finds Support Amid Skepticism. New York Times, September 22. Retrieved April 8, 2012, from
Yankelovich, D. (1995). The debate that wasn’t: the public and the Clinton plan. Retrieved April 8, 2012, from Read More
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