Health Reform History

Did you miss (or do you miss) health reform? If not that which occurred over the past year, maybe you didn’t notice the many efforts between 1912 and 2009. If that’s the case, the New York Times’ A History of Overhauling Health Care is for you. It’s an interactive time-line with links to historical NY Times articles and, more recently, video. I just stumbled on it and it is utterly fascinating.

For example, the figure below is from a 1968 NY Times article titled “Spiraling Medical Costs Reflect Deficiencies in U.S. Health Care.”

NYT-medcost

In the accompanying article Harold Schmeck wrote,

Some professional observers believe that minor reforms will not be enough. They think major changes are needed in the very fabric and essence of American health care.

As one doctor put it, “It is just no use to build a better mousetrap when the problem is elephants.”

Over forty years later those elephants are much larger.

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