Health insurance was developed to provide guaranteed coverage for sickness, injury and preventable health measures. Currently, the United States is facing a major challenge in controlling the cost of health care and providing coverage for everyone. This is why it is so important for the government to develop a new health care insurance plan. The purpose of this paper is to explore the history of health care, the major improvements made to coverage through the years. Discussing the healthcare reform and the plans to improve the quality, and cost of health care for everyone in the United States.
Birth of Health Insurance
Health insurance started in the early twentieth century when the ...view middle of the document...
With the guarantee of payment the first provider health care program was born. It was called Blue Shield. Blue Shield’s role was to “negotiate with doctors and hospitals for reduced prices in exchange for a high volume of customers and guaranteed payment. To make up for the loss of revenue, doctors and hospitals raised their prices for patients who did not have group health insurance” (1). A lot companies during the 19040s and 50s were able to offer their employees health care benefits, but for some this was not an option. Many of Americans and small businesses during this time period could not afford group health insurance. This meant that the government had to come up with new programs to provide coverage for the uninsured people.
Improvements to Health Insurance
There was hope and a need for an insurance that would benefit the disabled, elderly and unemployed American people. The Medicare and Medicaid act of 1965 did just that and provided health insurance coverage to millions of Americans in need. There was a glimpse of light at the end of their dark tunnel “Medicare a uniform national health insurance program for the aged and certain disabled persons. [Along with] Medicaid which is administered by the states within broad federal guidelines and finances health services for certain low-income groups” (Lew “First Thirty Years of Medicaid” 262). Medicare was a much needed program; in 1966 there were 19 million elderly patients enrolled. It was a slow process, but eventually all the states participated in this program and by 1972 there were “18 million poor elderly, disabled, and families with dependent children [enrolled in the Medicare program]” (262). Though this was a big help with to the uninsured, there were still bigger issues that needed attention. Medical costs continued to climb and more and more people were unable to pay for their healthcare, who did not qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. This prompted the HMO, which stands health maintenance organization.
The HMO is similar to Blue Shield, however it was more than just doctors and hospital, agreeing to lower cost of care in trade for payment. It is an organization of hospitals, laboratories, primary care physician and specialty doctors which are all enrolled into the HMO program agreeing to accept a set payment price for the services rendered for everyone enrolled. The HMO is a prepaid insurance plan offered by the...