Government Paid for Poor Citizens’ Health Care Some 300 Years Before Obamacare

from The Atlantic

There has always been government-subsidized health care in the United States. Until just after the Civil War, when state governments took more power, most Americans assumed that their local government would tax and spend to take care of the neediest. They frequently griped about the cost of these expenditures, as complaining about taxes is a long American tradition. But for about three centuries from the beginning of British North America, almost no one thought government-provided health care for the poor should go away.

That has changed. Congressional Republicans have campaigned for years on the plank that government’s involvement in health care should partially go away, including its funding of programs for low-income Americans. The Obamacare replacement bill proposed by House Speaker Paul Ryan last month aimed to roll back Medicaid spending at the federal level, which would encourage states to do the same. That legislation failed, but Republicans in Washington continue to look for ways to curb spending on coverage. Yet these efforts to divest government cut against the long history of health care in the United States.

British settlers in North America brought with them the laws of Britain, including measures pertaining to health care. Just a few years before the settling of Jamestown colony in Virginia, Parliament had reorganized a hash of different laws into one big “Elizabethan Poor Law,” which dictated how governments assisted the poor in Britain from 1601 until a major revision in 1832. In British America, the law was adopted by the earliest colonial governments, and government’s involvement in health care was part of the civic fabric—like jury duty and rounding up stray animals. George Washington himself oversaw its provision early in his political career. Starting at age 30, Washington served on the Truro Parish Vestry, a kind of citizen board that assisted the local Church of England parish. As church and state were intertwined in colonial Virginia, this was the body that oversaw tax-supported poor relief, including health care, in that area.

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15 Responses to Government Paid for Poor Citizens’ Health Care Some 300 Years Before Obamacare

  1. Ryan Appello April 5, 2017 at 12:30 am #

    The issue of healthcare is without a doubt a long standing debate in our country. It is extremely interesting to see that even the most basic forms of healthcare were prevalent in our countries earliest days, a testament to its universal benefit and need for all people. The recent events of the Republican party to try to lessen the amount of spending in healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare is an inherently flawed idea that goes against the very principles our country was founded on.
    This plan would not only lessen the amount the federal government would pay for citizens, but would also make it more likely for state governments to follow suit. As I said, this goes against the role governments should take in providing their citizens with medical support in the form of healthcare. The article explains that in our countries earliest days, when we were just getting settled, many laws were put into place meant to help support the poor and needy population. These laws put this control into the hands of the forms of government at the time, an occurrence that became common. This kind of support is essential to insuring the overall health and well-being of the people who need this type of help.
    Governments should be held accountable for providing every citizen with suitable healthcare. This is a common benefit of being a part of a country like ours. Or, at least it should be. It shouldn’t just be available to the people that can afford it. It’s clear that a growing number of people are in need of even the simplest forms of medical care, and they simply can’t get it because of the overall prices. It seems that healthcare has become more and more unattainable for even more citizens. This is because of the increasing amount of privatization in the field of healthcare. Basically, because private businesses are increasingly offering this service, they are forced to raise their prices to stay competitive. This works the same way as any other business would work. As more companies enter the market, it becomes more competitive, overall raising prices.
    The articles notion that Americans have lost their understating of governments role in health care is spot on. It seems that people don’t understand that government should take an active role in providing citizens with healthcare. Every citizen should be provided with the basic forms of health care they deserve. People today have grown up in an era of private health, so they don’t seem to understand that government should be the one providing it.
    Even though I do believe government should provide for basic healthcare, there should be a line drawn as to how far that reaches. It’s terrifying to hear about people not being able to afford something as simple and crucial as a regular doctor. Some people can’t even afford a yearly checkup, something I believe every citizen is entitled to. However, I do believe that it should be up to people to pay for less essential forms of healthcare and for the non-basic forms. In other words, I’m taking the middle ground in this issue. Simple things like a medical doctor should be made available to every citizen, however, the role the government takes should be limited in providing anything above this. It’s clear that the debate over healthcare will never end, however, the current plan of action in the Republican Party is not the way to go.

  2. Olivia Tarnawska April 5, 2017 at 3:53 pm #

    Health care has been a topic of discussion for many years. It is defined as the maintenance and improvement of physical and mental health, especially through the provision of medical services. Health insurance protects you from unexpected as well as high medical costs where you pay less for covered in-network health care, even before you meet your deductible. With healthcare you get free preventive care, like vaccines, screenings, and check-ups.

    Obamacare (The Affordable Care Act) was created in order to make healthcare more affordable and easily accessible to a wider range of Americans. However, after 6 years since the passing of the law in 2010, a significant group of Americans remain uninsured. As many as 29 million Americans ­– about one in 10 – lack coverage. One of the main reasons a person can not obtain health insurance is due to how costly it is. Many people ultimately receive employer-sponsored coverage to get insurance. However, those who do not have an option of doing this, and can not afford health insurance, are affected.

    When the article mentions that upon first settling, the government aided and supported those who were less fortunate or poor, it was interesting to read. The support that these people had was much more common than it is now. Today, the government aids in helping those with low income by offering Medicaid. This is a program run by both federal and state governments that helps pay medical costs for people with limited incomes. Though, people who are not employed and are stuck in situations that prevent them from affording healthcare, are not eligible to receive any benefits.

    All citizens should have equal chances of being given their basic needs and necessities. Sadly, nowadays this is unlikely. The government should implement changes that allow those who can not afford healthcare to have an optional discount. Or they can even grant certain citizens their basic health care with limits as to what they are eligible to do.

    As a citizen who is part of Medicare I have found that even with this health insurance I have trouble finding anything from doctors, dentists, to finding coverage for prescriptions. There are a few places that accept this insurance. So even as a person who has health coverage, it still comes with issues and limits to my benefits. Thus, for someone who does not have health insurance, really hinders their chances of being able to do any of the following that I had trouble finding coverage for.

  3. Daniel Anglim April 5, 2017 at 7:17 pm #

    In the article, “Government Paid for Poor Citizens’ Health Care Some 300 Years Before Obamacare” by author Gabriel Loiacono is interesting a brings up many good points. Before we even had healthcare, people were already covered. This was part of Obama’s elaborate scheme to make a name for himself. “There has always been government-subsidized health care in the United States. Until just after the Civil War, when state governments took more power, most Americans assumed that their local government would tax and spend to take care of the neediest. They frequently griped about the cost of these expenditures, as complaining about taxes is a long American tradition. But for about three centuries from the beginning of British North America, almost no one thought government-provided health care for the poor should go away.” The government has been helping people and their health care before even the civil war, people have never been turned away from a hospital ever before so there was no reason for them to start. This is another example of democrats pushing their agenda on many people. There are more people now that do not have health coverage than ever before, it has been expensive and is a waste. One of the main factors I am against Obamacare is that they promised the website to be running for American people, and they failed to do so. Not to mention they did this at the cost of many people. These Obamacare resources has been extremely expensive costing billions of dollars. More waste of tax payer money. The author also says, “That has changed. Congressional Republicans have campaigned for years on the plank that government’s involvement in health care should partially go away, including its funding of programs for low-income Americans. The Obamacare replacement bill proposed by House Speaker Paul Ryan last month aimed to roll back Medicaid spending at the federal level, which would encourage states to do the same. That legislation failed, but Republicans in Washington continue to look for ways to curb spending on coverage. Yet these efforts to divest government cut against the long history of health care in the United States.” Republicans need to do a better job of preventing democrats from ruining this country with their ridiculous plans and ideas. Come on Republicans, you are partly to blame for the issues in America as well as the Democrats. You guys get pushed around, hopefully Donald Trump will do a better job of sticking up for America’s party than you wimps. Donald Trump was voted as president of the United States of America for many important reasons. America wants him to be the leader of the country and to overturn the hated healthcare system that is in the United States today. People are sick of the traditional way politicians operate in the nation. They do not listen to the American people once they are elected, many of them are simply plain old liars. I hope in the future more people elect those that are genuine like Donald Trump.

  4. Jacob Hoelting April 5, 2017 at 9:05 pm #

    I have been raise a conservative Republican my whole life and, for the majority of the issues, side with them. This issue of health care falls on the majority side of my thinking. My whole life my family has taught me that if I wanted something/ needed something I had to work for it and earn it myself: there are no handouts. I believe that in this life we have to make our own way and not expect others to step in when you are either too lazy to do it yourself or just mooching off of others success. I feel like healthcare is the same way. Although we all need healthcare we all need to work for it the same way we all work for our jobs. There exceptions however. Such as the homeless, who literally cannot afford it, and veterans or anyone in the military, they served our country and they deserve the very best. These two groups of men and women, I believe, are the only people that should get free healthcare because of their financial situation or of the serves they have provided. Other than that all healthcare should have the same base fee, no more- no less. This fee would include everything that a person needs in a health care plan. With this one base fee everyone pays the same thing and no one gets special privileges. With this program operating in such a manner it encourages those that can barely make the payment to work harder to make a better salary and/or get promoted for a better salary. This would also grow the economy since more people are working and expanding on the nations human capital. Health care should also not impose on the religious freedoms of people, much like Obamacare. This nation was founded upon the idea of all religions living together in harmony without the government imposing their ideas upon them. Obamacare, on the other hand, does not believe this. They believe that as long as they accept it it is okay and good to go, but on the contrary it is not. Obamacare makes it law for business to provide health care at Planned Parenthood, a place that is only for abortions and Catholics are not okay with that. Do not believe Planned Parenthood is just for abortions? Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16BsBCSisrw . But that is off topic. Health care is an crucial thing that everyone needs to get healthy when they are sick or when they need help to pay their enormous hospital bill. However, this is the Uited States of America, a place built by workers and the American dream and handouts should never be accepted as normal or just. With that, religious freedoms should not be pushed to the side in the name of health care. We are first and foremost a country that was founded for religious freedom so every person, entity, and business should have the right to reject a health care plan that goes against their religion. That being said, every citizen should have access to health care, but they should pay for it just like everyone else and not expect anything to come free to them.

  5. Jiaqi Ma April 6, 2017 at 6:31 pm #

    Health care always is a big issue in over the world. It also is a big part to improve citizen’s livehood. For a long time, America citizen has believed that part of government’s taxes should help the people who need help urgently thought health care. Although America people complains government’s taxes, they still hold this view, which is poor people should receive help. This tradition can reflect in the way that they always offer help when anyone involved into trouble. This article revealed how this tradition formed. In the related story, he mentioned that this tradition came from North American settlers. He also mentioned two times. One of the time point is Elizabethan Poor Law enacted; the second time point is in 1832 the British colonial government in North America passed this law, which reasonably explained the origin of the tradition of the United States. Coincidentally, the first president of United States, Washington, in his youth, was responsible for overseeing the implementation of this law, which indirectly explained why this tradition would be so popular in America.
    Talking about health care issue, I like to speak about the difference between America and China. The first difference between America and China is when you have any problems, no matter fever or get cold, you go to “hospital”. In the hospital, it generally divided into different departments, such as internal medicine, Stomatology. There are receptions where you tell them your problem and they will recommend what kind of department that you need. Therefore, as could see, we do not need an appointment. You could go there any time you want and you could choose any doctor that you prefer. However, people likes to see more professional doctor, which caused you have to wait for a long time. Furthermore, some people have waited for a whole day and they did not see the doctor. They have to back tomorrow. On this point, I prefer America system: make an appointment. It will not waste personal time. The bad side am I cannot see the doctor as soon as possible.
    Chinese medical expenses are cheaper than America. There is an example, in China, doing a spinal surgery is 10,000 RMB, which are equal to $1451.3. In America, However, it is $60,000. Therefore, many America citizens choose to do surgery in China. One of my friends has periodontitis. He did the surgery in China. The plane ticket’s fee plus surgical fee is cheaper than America. However, taking about medical insurance system, American medical system is better than China. In China, we usually pay the fee personally. Before, 2012 years, most of Chinese citizen do not have medical insurance. Although medical expenses in China is cheaper than America, there is still part of China that they could not afford. Most of the people who cannot afford the fee belong to the countryside. After 2012, with the promotion of rural medical insurance, most people have medical insurance. However, when I talked with a Chinese doctor, he mentioned that the insurance reimbursement of class A medicine totally; Class of B usually is imported foreign drugs, which reimburse part of it. However, he said every hospital has limited quota to use Class A. We know that China has many people. The limited quota is far from enough to meet the needs. This point shocked me. China still has a long way to go in healthcare issue, same as America. America really needs to cut down on the medical expense. Even the medical care system is better than China, the medical expenses are so expensive. Healthcare always is a big issue for any country. If country wants to develop better, healthcare always is the problem that they should focus on.

  6. Erin Chan April 6, 2017 at 11:27 pm #

    The United States Government provides public health insurance for low-income families and children. US citizens or lawful immigrants may apply to join these insurance. Medicaid Poor Medicare Insurance is a partnership between the federal government and the state government to provide medical services for low-income earners. Compliance with US citizens and legal immigrants can apply. Generally get the US green card to be more than five years before they can apply. Medicaid insurance is financed primarily by state governments, and the federal government provides part of the funds through the Federal Medicare and Medical Service Center (CMS). Under the guidance of the federal government, the state governments formulate the state’s Medicaid insurance program and implement it specifically, including the state government to set the poverty line and asset standards to determine the applicant’s qualifications, insurance coverage of medical services, medical expenses reimbursement level. The state government annually examines the insured’s income and asset status to determine whether to retain or cancel its insured qualification.
    Medicaid is a health insurance for certain people and families with limited income and assets. The rules that calculate your income and assets, such as bank accounts or other assets that can be converted into cash, usually depend on which state you live in. The eligibility may also be determined by the age of your age and whether you are pregnant; whether you are blind or have other injuries; and whether you are a US citizen or a legal immigrant in the United States. If a woman who produces and pays a child has state medical assistance insurance, her baby does not need to apply for a one-year insurance. “Medicaid health insurance is more comprehensive, including medical care for hospitals, medical clinics, medical laboratory tests, maternal and child health care, preventive care, home care and so on. Every state has different medical services. For example, Medicaid Insurance in California is called Medi-Cal. If you need more information about Median Medicare Insurance, click here to visit Medicaid Government website for information on Medicaid Medical Insurance Department And local Medicaid insurance application. You can apply for Medicaid health insurance at any time of the year, no time limit.
    Medicaid is a health insurance for low-income groups, mainly for children in low-income families, pregnant women, the elderly, parents with young children, and people with disabilities to provide protection. Medicaid Medicare is a project managed by state governments. You must be a resident of the state before you can apply for local low-income health insurance. Medicaid qualification review of the most important criteria is income, lower than the state income standard line to qualify for insurance. In addition to income, the state government will also consider granting Medicaid insurance based on the age of the applicant, whether the US citizen, whether the residents of the state, whether there are any other factors such as disability. According to the parity medical bill, more than half of the states in the United States are applying medical standards to Medicaid’s income, allowing Medicaid Insurance to apply for low-income earners below 133% of the federal poverty line. Other states have different Medicaid income criteria, usually Medicaid insurance for children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, etc., for low-income families.

  7. John Phillips April 7, 2017 at 12:57 am #

    First and foremost, the most important fundamental right we have as citizens of the United States is healthcare. The most important thing for a government should be the health and well-being of its citizens, Without a healthy and thriving society, what do we have. Those who argue that we should be solely responsible for our healthcare is irrational. Now, Im not saying the government must have total control of healthcare, I still believe in the capitalist ideas that you can pay for the care you want; but I firmly believe that a majority of healthcare should be government subsidized. It is essential for our survival that our constituents are healthy. Healthcare is a major issue in modern society, and the problems continue to grow. Obama care has been criticized for years by the Republicans, yet they haven’t proposed an solution. It is sad that they had eight years to come up with something, and all they came up with was that failure of a bill that recently didn’t pass. Obama care provided healthcare to millions of Americans who didn’t have any, what can be so hated about this? The republicans turn everything into political issue, and don’t look for pragmatic solutions. The bill they recently put out was an absolute embarrassment. It would have stripped millions of Americans form having the right to healthcare. This bill was a total corporate sellout, by globalist, Paul Ryan. He put the interests of his special interests, donors, and lobbyists over those of the American people. It was simple to identify this; he planned on taking away millions of American’s healthcare, benefiting the drug and insurance companies, It was a wonderful day for our country when that abomination failed to pass. Had it passed we may have seen economic recession and possibly health crises. It truly is sad that the elected officials who represent us would sell us out. Rather than trying to improve the system that is in place, they would rather get rid of it for political reasons, and fatten the pockets of their special interests. It is hard to have trust in these people any longer based on the decisions they are making. Healthcare, in particular, is the single most important issue. Improvements we could have made, was better budgeting to expand subsidies to low income individuals, increasing taxes slightly and factoring in the extra tax dollars towards healthcare. There are countless solutions that could have brought down costs for people, and expanded the amount of people under the plan. However, it has become politicized and nothing gets done. This clearly shows the need of government reform, and removal of special interests and lobbying. This creates a cycle of greed, and elected individual working to help out those who supported them. Not he people who elected them. It is really sad that this is what our country has come to. Healthcare reform cant happen, because of this greed. Trying to improve the overall health and insurance of our country, has become an issue that cant be addressed because of incompetency. It truly is a tragedy, and people need to understand the potential consequences.

  8. George Tannous April 7, 2017 at 3:54 am #

    Health care is a very touchy subject as one side declares it is a privilege and the other says it is a right, not a privilege. This article outlines that the British paid for health care from 1601 to 1832. However, when comparing it to today’s health care law, it is like comparing apples to bananas. Health care before the mid 1900’s was essentially a bunch of weird home remedies that needless to say did not work. Not only that, health care was a cheap venture. The supplies and technology in health care back hundreds of years was not even remotely near what it is today where some machines can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. And in addition, the population today is way bigger than compared to then.
    Obamacare needs to either be edited to a certain extent, or replaced and reformed with something similar. In general, I do not agree with universal healthcare. Though Obamacare is not universal, it is a leap in that direction. I have heard how much of a failure the universal health care system in Canada is and if we result to that, it will not be beneficial to our country. The wait times in Canada to receive health care services is ridiculous. In 2013 it took on average four and a half months to receive medical care. And what makes me disagree with the Affordable Care Act is the fact that it raised taxes. When Barack Obama first proposed Obamacare, he stated that it would not increase taxes. However, once it was passed and the news was covering the passage of the Act, they announced taxes would be raised due to Obamacare. Obama lied that it would not be taxed. From then on, the Obamacare website was a remarkable failure. There were errors on the Obamacare website for months. Very clearly it was not well planned out. The only part of Obamacare that I agree with is that coverage should be given to those with pre-existing conditions. It is unfair that someone who has a disease or cancer cannot get health care insurance despite having a pre-existing condition. And with the latest failure of “Trump-care”, it is no doubt that Obamacare will stay around in some shape or form. Essentially what could happen however is the Trump Administration will wait until Obamacare defunds itself and collapses, which will then allow them to replace it. I think this is a radical approach, and they should have just proposed a well thought out health care act instead of what they resulted to. And more than likely Trump did not read the fine lines of “Trump Care” and instead took Paul Ryan’s word that it was better than Obamacare.
    I am still very partial to the entire idea of the Affordable Care Act. I do not think it is necessarily a right. I think it is rather a step to socialism which should be avoided. If one is in dire need to have health insurance, they can simply acquire a job that offers a health care plan for one’s entire family instead of simply relying on government health care. I think middle class tax payers have enough burden to pay for affordable housing (section 8) and WIX food assistance. The problem with all of this is that the middle class is becoming poor, and the poor are becoming poorer, while the rich get richer.

  9. Zion McMillan April 7, 2017 at 5:43 pm #

    The recent events of the Republican party to try to lessen the amount of spending in healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare is an inherently flawed idea that goes against the very principles our country was founded on. This plan would not only lessen the amount the federal government would pay for citizens, but would also make it more likely for state governments to follow suit. As I said, this goes against the role governments should take in providing their citizens with medical support in the form of healthcare. The article explains that in our country’s earliest days, when we were just getting settled, many laws were put into place meant to help support the poor and needy population. These laws put this control into the hands of the forms of government at the time, an occurrence that became common. This kind of support is essential to ensuring the overall health and well-being of the people who need this type of help.
    The recent events of the Republican party to try to lessen the amount of spending in healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare is an inherently flawed idea that goes against the very principles our country was founded on.
    This plan would not only lessen the amount the federal government would pay for citizens, but would also make it more likely for state governments to follow suit. As I said, this goes against the role governments should take in providing their citizens with medical support in the form of healthcare. The article explains that in our country’s earliest days, when we were just getting settled, many laws were put into place meant to help support the poor and needy population. These laws put this control into the hands of the forms of government at the time, an occurrence that became common. This kind of support is essential to ensuring the overall health and well-being of the people who need this type of help.
    According to the parity medical bill, more than half of the states in the United States are applying medical standards to Medicaid’s income, allowing Medicaid Insurance to apply for low-income earners below 133% of the federal poverty line. Other states have different Medicaid income criteria, usually Medicaid insurance for children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, etc., for low-income families.

  10. Erin Carunchio April 7, 2017 at 7:37 pm #

    Obamacare has been around since 2010. It is also known was the Health Care Reform in the United States of America. It is a free service for medical care. People who cannot afford private insurance or are not covered by their employer can receive Obamacare. The recent events of the Republican party to try to lessen the amount of spending in healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare is an inherently flawed idea that goes against the very principles our country was founded on. This plan would not only lessen the amount the federal government would pay for citizens, but would also make it more likely for state governments to follow suit. As I said, this goes against the role governments should take in providing their citizens with medical support in the form of healthcare. The article explains that in our country’s earliest days, when we were just getting settled, many laws were put into place meant to help support the poor and needy population. These laws put this control into the hands of the forms of government at the time, an occurrence that became common. This kind of support is essential to ensuring the overall health and well-being of the people who need this type of help. The recent events of the Republican party to try to lessen the amount of spending in healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare is an inherently flawed idea that goes against the very principles our country was founded on. This plan would not only lessen the amount the federal government would pay for citizens, but would also make it more likely for state governments to follow suit. As I said, this goes against the role governments should take in providing their citizens with medical support in the form of healthcare. The article explains that in our country’s earliest days, when we were just getting settled, many laws were put into place meant to help support the poor and needy population. These laws put this control into the hands of the forms of government at the time, an occurrence that became common. This kind of support is essential to ensuring the overall health and well-being of the people who need this type of help. According to the parity medical bill, more than half of the states in the United States are applying medical standards to Medicaid’s income, allowing Medicaid Insurance to apply for low-income earners below 133% of the federal poverty line. Other states have different Medicaid income criteria, usually Medicaid insurance for children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, etc., for low-income families. Overall I do believe Obamacare is a good thing. I due believe that people should be provided with health care even if they can not afford it. One thing a human being can control is their health, and that can start with the protection of healthcare.

  11. Isaiah Allen April 7, 2017 at 8:39 pm #

    One of the government’s main priorities should be to make sure that citizens have access to affordable health care. Good health is not a want but a necessity, and no one should be denied medical attention because of the cost. The article by Gabriel Loiacono did a good job of pointing out how the British government was able to provide healthcare for the needy, some 300 years ago. While I would agree that times have changed since then, I still think a lot of the same principles can be used in our politics today. Republicans believe that the government shouldn’t be fully liable to provide healthcare for those who need it. To this I would argue that there are very few things that are more important than an individual’s health. One of the biggest differences I recognized between Britain’s health care and America’s health care, was the fact that health care seemed like a priority for the British. Even though it was a long time ago, British officials have consistently viewed health care as a necessity rather than a commodity. In America, we seem to place too much attention on the cost of health care, or who deserves it rather than the care itself. The author made a good point when he mentioned how the British government’s involvement in health care was part of the civic fabric. The idea of the British government being involved in health care was an ideology that not many people opposed, just like jury duty or rounding up stray animals. It was just viewed as “the right thing to do” because they understood that there are not many substitutes for good health.
    In today’s America, one could argue that the Republican view on health care is a polar opposite of the British view. It is almost as if some policymakers feel that we are lucky to have healthcare at all, and should just be grateful. There are so many regulations and requirements people must meet to receive health care, when it should just be provided to everyone. English Parliament seemed to be willing to provide for the needy, but Republican Congress feels otherwise. In order to strengthen our society as a whole, we must focus on tendering to the poor. That means that the government should be responsible for paying whatever it takes to ensure a person’s health. The author mentioned how views on health care have also changed within America for example, in 1826 New York City had a dedicated public hospital for the poor and sick. This shows that the American government and the general public felt responsible for the health of the poor, and therefore didn’t mind paying taxes to help them. Today it seems like we alienate the poor and diminish their value because they are poor. The references the author made to the remote health care practices in early Britain and America, should act as proof that the government can provide health care for the poor. We just can’t be selfish and only worry about our own individual well being because then, what have we accomplished as a society? The sooner that Republicans face this reality, the sooner we can have equal health care for all.

  12. Thomas Batelli April 8, 2017 at 12:59 pm #

    The back-and-forth controversy over nationwide healthcare has been a topic of discussion for quite some time, however, the strong shift in politics in Washington DC has created an even further debate. Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinions and that is what makes this country so great, but, isn’t there a point where we must draw a line in the sand? By using this expression, I simply mean that there must be a compromise somewhere. All in all, we as a country are never going to be able to satisfy every persons every need, but we should be able to cover the basics. There is a fine line when it comes to “fair coverage”, and unfortunately, many people do not see, nor understand, that there is a reason for this.

    I, as well as many other Americans, do believe that taxpayer dollars should assist with healthcare opportunities for lower income citizens. After all, the government has been paying for this coverage much earlier before Obamacare was even a thought; this system was adopted by British colonists and there was no question as to whether or not government should be of assistance to those who are less fortunate. More often than not until the time of the Great Depression, most Americans were able to pay for health care directly out of pocket and the government only assisted using their poor relief funds if the costs were too great. As time goes on, less and less and less people are in agreement with this system. Poor relief, over the course of nearly three hundred years, has been the largest expense in almost every single local government budget until other expenses came into play, such as roadwork and education. However, everyone benefitted from the tax money, in this instance, if they provided services, goods and shelter to the needy. Private healthcare did not grow to be popular until after the Great Depression.

    The topic of repealing Obamacare has been on the surface for quite some time now, however, lawmakers must come up with a replacement before doing so, or a strong shift in the economy might encourage devastation. In this day and age, every little move affects the overall economy, and disaster can strike if we are not careful. I think that many people have a false illusion that it is possible to deliver equal and extensive healthcare to every citizen. If we were to do this as a nation, we would be a socialist country, like Denmark, for example. However, many people do not understand that if everyone is receiving the same healthcare at the cost of the taxpayer, the health care will most likely be limited and not of the highest quality. I do believe in the private healthcare system because I believe that people who have worked their “tails” off to achieve that great job, or work hard to fund the expenses of private healthcare should be able to receive excellent accommodation because of that. People who use private healthcare still pay taxes to fund government assisted healthcare programs, and shouldn’t have to suffer risk of potentially losing their private healthcare provider/be forced into a unanimous healthcare system when they’ve worked extremely hard to have that coverage.

  13. Lauren MacArthur May 18, 2017 at 4:52 pm #

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA) or more commonly known as “Obamacare” is an extension of existing Federal Health Insurance programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. While the intent for all Federal Health Insurance programs has always been to help those in unfavorable circumstances pay high health care costs, there unfortunately have been issues with these programs that have lead Republicans and people alike to view these programs in a lesser light and feel that in the case of “Obamacare” it should be repealed and replaced. Due to these concerns, in the last few years there has been an increasing amount of press coverage for government programs including the Affordable Care Act. With this, partial frustration seems to be accounted to the amount of taxes being allocated to these federally funded programs which in the eyes of Republicans should be sufficient enough for these programs to thrive.
    There is not a single human being who should have to go without food in their stomach, a roof over their head, clothes on their back, or pain from not being able to be seen by a health care provider in fear of being unable to afford health care costs. Yet according to statistics from the Center of American Progress, in 2016 New York with a population of over 19.2 million people, over 2.9 million of them are living in poverty. This can then be said that those are the people desperately seeking health care, and should be enrolled in these Federal Funded programs provided. Low income citizens living in poverty should be able to receive healthcare, without the fear of receiving a high bill in which they are unable to pay back.
    While there are many factors that play into the eligibility for receiving government assistance however along with assistance their needs to be support for these individuals so that they can succeed in the long term. The article makes a great point on the effectiveness the coming together of community had on the health and well-being of individuals. It can be noted that a citizen’s health and well-being are sufficient in order for communities to thrive; the healthier and happier people are the more productive they will be whether it is in their personal or professional lives. It is essential that health care be affordable to all citizen’s and that those in less desirable circumstances are able to receive the care they need at a price suitable to be met by their financial situations. For those whose medical bills pile up and are unable to be paid it is inevitable that they will be sent to collections agencies causing more of a hassle for both the company and the person who sought medical service. Perhaps if the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. were consolidated into one universal program sufficient to meet the needs of those in less than desirable circumstances and the conditions for which those who meet eligibility requirements were improved upon then the program may succeed.

  14. Richard buzbee May 28, 2017 at 6:23 am #

    Healthcare is a vital element for people to enjoy prolonged lives. It is of particular importance to the individuals who cannot afford good medical services, health insurance or other health related facilities. After the British invade America, they enforced their policies and procedures on the government. The British were of the view that the government should be responsible for providing healthcare to the poor citizens. However, this assertion was questioned by the Republicans who were of the view that the government should not intervene on such issues. The 1601 Elizabeth poor law provided relief to the people who couldn’t work. This was such an important step by the British government which was also imposed in North America. There were enough needy Americans who were in immense need of healthcare in the 19th century. The details of the poor law varied in every state. However, in my opinion, the variations in the law were not a bad thing as people carry out amendments according to their requirements. The other positive thing that happened was that following the Poor Elizabeth Act, a lot of institutions came into being with the aim of providing health care services to the needy people. Many people came forward to nurse the sick. One of the best examples was Sarah. In mid-19th century, the government put more effort towards providing healthcare services. The government took the welfare of the citizens as its main aim. However, this was somehow interrupted by the civil war. During the war, many institutions and hospitals were formed to provide health services. There was also a new concept which was introduced after the great depression known as private health insurance. This insurance is offered through employers or the organization for which the person is working. This is the healthcare insurance which one is currently paying and will receive in future. In the late 19th century, hospitals were the one that provided health insurance to the people; they were happy to do it. The great depression, however, awoke the federal government of the USA into taking part in health care services. In return, the government stopped other benefits such as the unemployment insurance, welfare for single mothers of independent children and poor houses. After the services had been stopped, there was a negative connotation towards the government’s intervention in health care issues. During the 1960’s, private health insurance was one of the strategies followed by the people. Despite this fact, local institutions were busy providing health care to poor people. The local institutions did not stop offering the services, and this was a positive sign for the people who could not afford them. In Oshkosh, the country supported hospital survived for 140 years. Despite all the hurdles they faced, they still managed to survive and continued their work for the betterment of the society. This was a great achievement. With the announcement of the Obama Care, it seems like the people of America have lost understanding of the government’s historical role in healthcare. The introduction of politics into the argument is also affecting good things.
    The number of health centers dedicated to the poor patients increased rapidly. The state governments realized that the majority of its citizens could not afford quality health services. The protocols initiated varied across different states. However, some principles remained constant. For instance, if one was unable to afford quality health services, then a family member with the financial capability was expected to assist. If none was available, then the state government was obligated to help the needy patients. The assistance also came in in the form of food, shelter, and clothing. Patients were required to go back to their home states and seek free medical care.
    Americans seem to have ignored the role the government played in providing health care. In the onset of the civil war, the government shifted its focus to the war. State governments initiated measures to deal with the medical problem. Soon, poor households and psychiatric institutions were widely associated with the state government and not the federal government. However, it will be sagacious to note that before that, the federal government had put plans aimed towards professionalization of health care. It had also put oversight protocols in state governments to emphasize on quality health care.
    All in all, even though healthcare was free to a certain degree at a certain point in time, I feel that it is comparing apples to oranges because the world we live in now is much different. I do think that the level of privatization in healthcare nowadays is severely hindering the lower class from getting proper healthcare when it is needed most. Obamacare may not have been the most well defined and beneficial plan but I do think that it had some positive characteristics to it and it was headed in the right direction. Whether or not the government should assist in the health of its people should not even be a question but assumed.

  15. Meagan E Finnerty June 15, 2017 at 7:27 pm #

    I found the article, Government Paid for Poor Citizens’ Health Care Some 300 Years Before Obamacare, to be extremely interesting. Healthcare has become less and less accessible over the years and with the rising costs of healthcare and medication, it leaves many Americans bankrupt or choosing against getting insuring themselves and paying for healthcare insurance. Obamacare, also known as Patient Protection and/or the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has changed Americans’ views of the healthcare system in both a positive and negative way. In my opinion, I do believe that Obamacare helped America form an idea for what needed to happen. Healthcare is an important aspect of life and should be given to individuals. Not as a handout, but on a basis, that if you need help and are willing to work hard to help better yourself and those around you, you should receive healthcare. America is extremely frustrated because we hold an enormous amount of healthcare debt, more than most countries. Most countries cover a portion of healthcare and then the individuals must pay for the rest. These systems are working for other countries and if we make the right steps within a couple of years we can help diminish the healthcare debt and make the positive steps.
    The article talks about how when the British cam ever and settled in North America, they brought their concepts of from Britain, especially their health care policies. Britain had what was called the, “Elizabethan Poor Law”, which assisted poor British individuals receive healthcare. The British thought that healthcare was important and should be available to all social classes, and so they brought this over with them as they founded their new lives in America. However, this idea did not last long due to the revolution and people fighting back and wanting changes for their ‘new and better lives’. The ability to keep health care as a ‘handout’ was diminished and therefore healthcare became a competitive market. An article that goes along well with this would be, Obamacare as We Know It May Be Done for, written by Bertha Coombs. The article talks about how, Donald Trump, plans to repeal Obamacare. Heath care and health insurance has become an uprising issue. Through the cost of it, who has coverage, how much coverage induvial get and if anyone qualifies for ‘free’ plans have become a heated debate through America. As stated by spokesman David Merritt in the article, “every American deserves access to affordable health coverage…” (http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/obamacare-deadline/obamacare-we-know-it-may-be-done-n681441). Republicans, like Trump, want to create a market in which allows consumers to but across state lines. He has also stated that he wants to negotiate the prices of pharmaceutical drugs. Although these sounds like good ideas, there is also a lot of hardship that comes with changing the policies that Obama has brought into play. Obamacare covers many Americans who struggle to survive day by day, or those who are retired and cannot afford their coverage premiums anymore. Trump makes good points that were discussed in the article, yet some Americans fear losing this bill while some totally support the repeal.
    As stated earlier, healthcare is becoming one of the most debated aspects of politics. It takes over most of our nation’s debt and expenses yearly. When Obamacare came into place, health insurers went through a major adjustment, losing costumers and facing hard decisions on what their services and or plans should cover. As stated in the article, “Many of these companies are like large ships — you can’t turn them on a dime” (http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/obamacare-deadline/obamacare-we-know-it-may-be-done-n681441). A competitive private market, like Trump wants to bring into will give consumers more choices, better quality care and lower costs which is what Americans want, many will not be insured and that is where the nation is torn and stuck.
    In my opinion, Obamacare has brought a lot of positives to our nations, although it does have its weaknesses. As stated in the article, “A survey conducted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested there are now 21.3 million fewer uninsured person than in 2010. Not all the newly insured have received their coverage through Obamacare exchanges. Some have benefited other ACA provisions, such as expanded access to Medicaid in 31 states and the ability of children to remain on their parents’ insurance plans until they are 26 years old” (http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/obamacare-deadline/obamacare-we-know-it-may-be-done-n681441). Obamacare provides better coverage, but this is at the cost of Americans, and our growing debt. Trump has good ideas on what needs to change, but by taking away coverage of so many people we are putting our nation at risk. Health coverage is extremely important to schools, work place, and all communities. Health of a person is key, without health you cannot work, learn or do just about anything. We, as Americans, must find a better way to finance healthcare. It is being done in other nations, if we could look at the way they support their healthcare systems, we should be able to find a way that works for us. We could even take bits and pieces from the healthcare systems of other nations. Obamacare has opened many windows, even with its high expenses; so, we must make a change, but repealing that might not be the correct way of doing so. I currently have an internship where I work with billing and reimbursement for home health care. Day in and day out, I send out what the bills for clients who need care. Whether they are rich or poor, twenty thousand dollars a week for healthcare aids is extremely heart wrenching. I find healthcare to be extremely expensive and that without Obamacare these individuals would struggle to make ends meet, and not even be able to afford the healthcare they need.

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