Health care and healthcare policy has continued to evolve over the last century. At the end of the 19thcentury due to the advancements made in the medical and research field, public health projects were implemented to fight some of the leading causes of disease and to provide health awareness and to raise the overall health of the general population. Some disease were practically eradicated. With concern of the general health and welfare of the nation,healthcare programme were extended into the schools through school nurses. (Fillmore)
During the first part of the 20th century, the US witnessed the establishment of the first large medical insurance company, the rise of private health insurance, and employer and labor union sponsored health care. (Fillmore) However, it was not until the 1930s-1940s that the federal government began to consider the true need for all citizens to have fundamental healthcare. Franklin D. Roosevelt, during his 1944 State of the Union Address, established the political idea that citizens of the United States should have the fundamental right to adequate health care. This political philosophy been the premise on which governmental health care policy has founded upon. Over the past half-century, government’s involvement in health care and in the development of healthcare policy had increased due to the rapid rise in healthcare cost and general concern over rising health issues minorities, and individual “Without adequate health care, no one can make full use of his or her talents and opportunities. It is thus just as important that economic, racial and social barriers not stand in the way of good health care as it is to eliminate those barriers to a good education and a good job.” (Kaiser Health News, 2009)
Historically the United States has tried to avoid providing universal healthcare for all citizens. Instead, financing healthcare continued to be linked to employment. (Landreanau, 2003) In part, this avoidance has been directly related to the general public’s view of democracy, laissez-faire economics and a general fear that government sponsored universal healthcare can lead to socialism. It has only been during times of great economic and social need that the federal government has been able to successfully implement healthcare policies and programs on a broad spectrum. Debate over national health insurance has been raging for over a half of century.