Universal Healthcare – an idea that’s been around, in one form or another, since after the Civil War. Teddy Roosevelt was in favor of it. Franklin Roosevelt was going to propose it the same time he introduced Social Security, but delayed it until 1941 – unfortunately, a war stepped in and FDR’s death in 1945 put it on the back-burner until Harry Truman sought to reintroduce it in 1949. In 1949 it was hotly contested and fought against by none other than the American Medical Association. The idea of government sponsored healthcare was considered Socialized Medicine and was deemed a disaster by the AMA. But by the 1950s the AMA was now joined by the Insurance and Pharmaceutical sectors and this powerful lobby made it a certainty that no such concept as Universal Healthcare would ever reach the American public.
Horror stories abounded with regard to England’s Universal Healthcare – calling it Socialized Medicine and a faulty system; citing crowded hospital waiting rooms, overworked staff and visits sometimes scheduled months in advance. But the bottom line was – the American people were getting sick, and even in 1949 it was too costly to be sick. The system was broken and needed to be fixed – but how was that going to happen?
This episode of the popular discussion program America United poses the issue of Universal Healthcare on this day in 1949 – some 69 years ago.
It’s the same argument – almost identical to the ones posed during the Clinton Administration and later, the Obama Administration. How many considered Obamacare a “foot in the door”; an imperfect proposal, but in light of the almost routine failures of getting something passed since the early 1900’s, it was a foot in the door – a bare-bones proposal that would serve as a boilerplate with which to build on. But even that . . .
To get an idea of where we were with Healthcare and the issue of Universal or government sponsored healthcare as it was proposed in 1949, here is that episode of America United, as it was broadcast on December 11, 1949.