The Affordable Care Act (2009) and the Health Security Act (1993) were two attempts made to reform the U.S. healthcare system. In 1993 the Clinton administration fought to better the system and provide comprehensible healthcare coverage to its citizens. This bill however was shot down in the legislative system and never made it into law. Then in 2010 the Obama administration squeezed their updated version of the bill through the House and Senate in a very narrow, partisan victory. The reasoning behind why the Clinton’s attempt didn’t get passed came down to two reasons.
First it was highly criticized and opposed politically. Secondly it was a matter of concerns about the actual content of the bill.The Affordable Care Act and the Health Security Act were both completely opposed by the Republican Party. They used smear campaigns to attempt to persuade Americans that both bills were overtly bureaucratic, complex, and would leave many Americans paying more money for lower quality healthcare. The way that the Obama administration persevered through this is by having a House and Senate Democratic majority that he could pander to. Obama and his administration had to work diligently on getting every single member of the Democratic Party to back his bill in order to get it through, which many people criticized him for “wheeling-and-dealing” with senators for votes which is something he had openly said he wouldn’t do. Hillary Clinton was the main force behind the Health Security Act, but she was unable to unite the Democratic Party. Many politicians were making their own proposals for healthcare reform and that lead to multiple groups competing for votes.
The lack of unity was ultimately the downfall of the bill.From a standpoint of content the two reform bills are somewhat similar. They both require American’s to have health Insurance and offer subsidized insurance to low income families. They also both regulated insurance companies not reject someone for a pre-existing condition and refused insurance companies the ability to cancel a customer’s policy. Something’s that differ are that in the Health Security Act, small business owners would have been required to provide health insurance to employees which was heavily opposed. The Obama Care however offers subsidies to businesses withless than 50 employees to take the same principle and make it a positive thing for small businesses. The Affordable Care Act also extended the dependency age to 26, and also refused insurance companies from setting a lifetime spending cap on its customers.
These were two major criticisms of the Clinton healthcare reform that were amended to the Affordable Care Act.The two bills were very similar in terms of content and political challenges, but ultimately the U.S. did eventually pass a bill to reform healthcare. The Health Security Act was rejected for multiple reasons and hopefully the Affordable Care Act was passed for rectifying any perceived issues with the first bill. Many are still opposed “Obama Care” but as the next 10 years come we will hopefully see the bill unfold into the advancement of quality in our healthcare system as well as a decrease in our national deficit.
P.S. I found this comparison chart online that I thought was very helpful comparing The ACA and HSA. http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Graphics/2010/022310-Bill-comparison.aspx