Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The Nixon Health Care Episode

At the end of the Nixon era....in the middle of Feb of 1974....Nixon decided to take a major step toward a health care option for Americans.....basically converting Medicare into a device for all Americans.

The order given down?  Here's the significant part of the Nixon plan:

"The plan is organized around seven principles:

First, it offers every American an opportunity to obtain a balanced, comprehensive range of health insurance benefits;

Second, it will cost no American more than he can afford to pay;

Third, it builds on the strength and diversity of our existing public and private systems of health financing and harmonizes them into an overall system; 

Fourth, it uses public funds only where needed and requires no new Federal taxes;

Fifth, it would maintain freedom of choice by patients and ensure that doctors work for their patient, not for the Federal Government.

Sixth, it encourages more effective use of our health care resources; And finally, it is organized so that all parties would have a direct stake in making the system work–consumer, provider, insurer, State governments and the Federal Government."

What happened to the Nixon plan?  Oddly, the Democrats of the House and Senate picked this up, and put a package together which conformed to the majority of Nixon's ideas.  At some point, it got out to unions and older Americans that there would be a cost factor involved and regular Americans would have to cover the price difference between what the lower-class could pay and the rest of America.  Newspapers, Time, Newsweak, and the big three networks carried the message to the public, and the Democrats simply could not sell this to the public.

Ford came into office shortly after this, with Nixon's resignation....and the Democrats just said adios to the whole idea.

The no-new-taxes part of the scheme?  Oh, he was right about that.....it would be built into your monthly deductions for medicare.  So he was right....no extra taxes.....just more onto what you already paid.

When this usually gets brought up.....Republicans of today usually go into fits and deny such a thing ever occurred.  The odd thing?  Well....Nixon spoke up that NO new taxes would be added to pay for this.....kinda like the plan we have today.  Nixon also said that you could keep your doctor (in certain words), if you wanted to, and the doctor would work for you, not the government....which is a President Obama-situation that popped up.

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