Skip to main content
×
Home

The Obama Presidency and Health Insurance Reform: Assessing Continuity and Change

  • Daniel Béland (a1) and Alex Waddan (a2)
Abstract

During the 2008 federal campaign, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama placed comprehensive health care reform at the centre of his platform. In the light of the growing problems facing the US health care system, the time seemed ripe for another attempt to control health costs while expanding insurance coverage. Elected in the context of the deepest recession since World War II, President Obama nonetheless decided to reform the US health care system at the beginning of his presidency. Drawing on the historical institutionalist perspective, which stresses the effects of existing institutions and policy legacies on social policy development, this article analyzes health politics during the first fifteen months of the Obama administration before assessing the impact of the legislation enacted in March 2010. Although it does not radically break from the past, this legislation should bring about crucial changes to the US health care system.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Abelson R. (2008) ‘Uninsured put a strain on hospitals’, New York Times, 8 December.
Angeles J. and Park E. (2009) Curbing Medicare Advantage Overpayments Could Benefit Millions of Low-Income and Minority Americans, Washington DC: Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, http://www.cbpp.org/files/2-19-09health.pdf [accessed 06.07.2011].
CBO (2010a) The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2010 to 2020, Washington DC: Congress of the United States, http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/108xx/doc10871/01-26-Outlook.pdf.
CBO (2010b) H.R. 4872, Reconciliation Act of 2010, 18 March, http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/113xx/doc11355/hr4872.pdf [accessed 06.07.2011].
CBO (2010c) H.R. 4872, Reconciliation Act of 2010, 20 March, http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/113xx/doc11379/AmendReconProp.pdf [accessed 06.07.2011].
Connolly C. (2010) ‘How we got there’, in Washington Post, ‘Landmark: the inside story of America's new health-care law and what it means for us all’, New York: PublicAffairs.
Cutler D., Davis K. and Stremikis K. (2010) The Impact of Health Reform on Health System Spending, Washington, DC: The Commonwealth Fund and the Center for American Progress, http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/05/pdf/system_spending.pdf [accessed 06.07.2011].
Guterman S., Schoenbaum S. C., Davis K., Schoen C., Audet A.-M. J., Stremikis K. and Zezza M. A. (2011) High Performance Accountable Care: Building on Success and Learning from Experience, Washington, DC: The Commonwealth Fund, April.
Hacker J. S. (1997) The Road to Nowhere: The Genesis of President Clinton's Plan for Health Security, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Hacker J. S. (2002) The Divided Welfare State: The Battle Over Public and Private Social Benefits in the United States, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Hacker J. S. (2010) ‘The road to somewhere: why health reform happened’, Perspectives on Politics, 8, 3, 861–76.
Hacker J. S. and Pierson P. (2010) Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer – And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class, New York: Simon & Schuster.
Hunt K. A. and Knickman J. R. (2008) ‘Financing health care’, in Kovner A. R. and Jonas S. (eds.), Jonas and Kovner's Health Care Delivery in the United States (9th edn), New York: Springer, pp. 4689.
Jacobs L. R. and Skocpol T. (2010) Health Care Reform and American Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know, New York: Oxford University Press.
Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured (2011) Where Are States Today? Medicaid and CHIP Eligibility Levels for Children and Non-Disabled Adults, http://www.kff.org/medicaid/upload/7993-02.pdf [accessed 06.07.2011].
Leonhardt D. (2010) ‘In Health Bill: Obama attacks wealth inequality’, New York Times, 23 March.
Marmor T. R. and Oberlander J. (2010) ‘The Health Bill explained at last’, New York Review of Books, 19 August.
Moran M. (2000) ‘Understanding the welfare state: the case of health care’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 2, 2, 135–69.
Morris C. (2006) Apart at the Seams: The Collapse of Private Pension and Health Care Protection, New York: The Century Foundation Press.
Newhouse J. (2010) ‘Assessing health reform's impact on four key group's of Americans’, Health Affairs, 29, 9, 1714–24.
Nix K. (2010) ‘Top 10 disasters of Obamacare’, Heritage Foundation Web memo, http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/2010/pdf/wm_2848.pdf [accessed 06.07.2011].
Obama B. (2009a) ‘Remarks of President Barack Obama – as prepared for delivery address to joint session of Congress’, Office of the Press Secretary, The White House, Washington, DC, 24 February.
Obama B. (2009b) ‘Remarks by the President to a joint session of Congress on health care’, Office of the Press Secretary, The White House, Washington, DC, 9 September.
Obama B. (2010) ‘Remarks by the President in State of the Union Address’, Office of the Press Secretary, The White House, Washington, DC, 27 January.
Oberlander J. (2010) ‘Long time coming: why health reform finally passed’, Health Affairs, 29, 6, 1112–16.
OECD (2010) OECD Health Data for 2010, Directorate for Employment, Labour and social Affairs, http://www.oecd.org/document/16/0,3343,en_2649_34631_2085200_1_1_1_1,00.html [accessed 06.07.2011].
Olson L. K. (2010) The Politics of Medicaid, New York: Columbia University Press.
Pierson P. (1994) Dismantling the Welfare State? Reagan, Thatcher, and the Politics of Retrenchment, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Politics Daily (2010) ‘HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on NBC's Meet the Press’, 7 March, http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/03/07/hhs-secretary-kathleen-sebelius-on-nbcs-meet-the-press/ [accessed 06.07.2011].
Quadagno J. (2005) One Nation Uninsured: Why the US Has No National Health Insurance, New York: Oxford University Press.
Quadagno J. and Street D. (2006) ‘Recent trends in US social welfare policy: minor retrenchment or major transformation?’, Research on Aging, 28, 3, 114.
Sack K. (2011) ‘Federal Judge rules that health law violates constitution’, New York Times, 31 January.
Simon K. (2010) Implications of Health Care Reform for Employers, Washington DC: Center for American Progress, http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/05/pdf/health_employers.pdf [accessed 06.07.2011].
Skocpol T. (1996) Boomerang: Clinton's Health Security Effort and the Turn against Government in US Politics, New York: W. W. Norton.
Streeck W. and Thelen K. (eds.) (2005) Beyond Continuity: Institutional Change in Advanced Political Economies, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Street D. (2008) ‘Balancing act: the public–private mix in health care systems’, in Béland D. and Gran B. (eds.), Public and Private Social Policy: Health and Pension Policies in a New Era, Houndmills, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 1544.
Steinmo S. and Watts J. (1995) ‘It's the institutions, stupid! Why the United States can't pass comprehensive national health insurance’, Journal of Health Politics Policy and Law, 20, 2, 329–72.
Thorne D. and Warren E. (2008) ‘Get sick, go broke’, in Hacker J. S. (ed.), Health at Risk: America's Ailing Health system and How to Heal It, New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 6687.
Urbina I. and Seelye K. (2009) ‘Senator goes face to face with dissent’, New York Times, 11 August.
White J. (2007) ‘Markets and medical care: the United States, 1993–2005’, The Milbank Quarterly, 85, 3, 395448.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Social Policy and Society
  • ISSN: 1474-7464
  • EISSN: 1475-3073
  • URL: /core/journals/social-policy-and-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 5
Total number of PDF views: 67 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 286 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 18th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.