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Blog About Health Care Reform

When The Government Is Involved, It’s Most Often Not Only The Government Acting:



When The Government Is Involved, It’s Most Often Not Only The Government Acting:


RATHER: A Weird Mix: Private Insurance Companies, BUT ALSO:

Most Often, The Federal Government



Some say it is because of the “tug” of the GOP in Congress, but more likely, neither party is entirely responsible.  For what?  ANSWER:  How it is that BOTH government AND Private Insurance Companies are involved in the operation of, and payment (REIMBURSEMENT) of most all medical bills: ESPECIALLY, if we are talking about MEDICARE: whether Part A, Part B and/or the new Part D (Drug Reimbursement part):


Looking back to the fierce battle the American Medical Association (and many private doctors, all over the country) raised a strong, fervent objection to having government, especially the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, to get involved in any kind of control over, and payment for, medical care, of any kind: not to mention, prescription drugs.  In fact, as part of LBJ’s GREAT SOCIETY PROGRAMS, it was likely his “arm-twisting”, or “Strong Arm-Twisting” that caused Medicare to happen, to become law, in the first place.  You may know from history, that for a long stretch of time, in the LBJ era, there was a “functioning” bi-partisan Congress, but one controlled almost exclusively by the Democrats.


One reason, for such a FUNCTIONING Congress back then?  Instead of the stand-off of today’s vitriolic representatives, the GOP argued from an ethical perspective, e.g., for private sector involvement: NOT a (to the contrary) SINGLE-PAYOR (Government) Medicare Program.


Republicans talked with Democrats.

Democrats talked with Republicans.


And the president???


President Lyndon B. Johnson, talked, by phone, every day with congressmen (and women, a few back then) of every stripe: and as a former Senate Majority Leader, for years, he did what could be expected of this great DEAL MAKER:


He NEGOTIATED:  …..great deals, compromises, etc.  His partner through much of this time, was the late, great Everett Dirksen (R-Illinois): the Republican Minority Leader of the U.S. Senate.  Of course, both parties, including Mr. Dirksen, were present when any piece of major legislation was signed: if it were to be signed in Washington, D.C.)


The Result ???


In 1965, Medicare became a MIX of both the PRIVATE (private insurance companies) and the GOVERNMENT (The Department of  – then – The Department of Health, Education and Welfare).


TODAY:  Essentially, only the names have changed: HEW by an act of Congress, became The Department of Health and Human Services, or “HHS”.

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