Birth Of A Health Care Reform Movement

There are powerful social and economic movements going on in America today. Some of the more known movements include Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street and The Tea Party.

  • Black Lives Matter is a protest and advocacy movement founded in 2012 to address the dehumanization of black people.
  • Occupy Wall Street is a protest and advocacy movement started in 2011 to address social and economic inequality.
  • The Tea Party is a political movement established in 2004 promoting a fiscally responsible and limited government.
These are three very different movements with different objectives, but what they all have in common is their mission to bring national and even international awareness and change to issues impacting the nation. One has had more success than the others because of its continuous mainstream media coverage and impact on political elections. But the other two are finding that the issues they champion are resulting in proposed legislative and corporate changes. For example, cities, states, federal contractors and private companies are creating laws and policies to increase the minimum wage for workers. Also, the criminal justice system is receiving greater scrutiny in light of its many failures in black communities.

The individuals these movements represent want to change the status quo. And what they are finding out is that it is not easy. The Occupy Wall Street protestors know well how harsh the opposition can be. Politicians and many in the mainstream media often treat them with disdain. The Black Lives Matter protestors have to constantly defend their existence to critics and supporters. Even the Tea Party, the most organized and well funded of the three modern social movements has its haters among the elite.

As these movements struggle to develop their platform, their powerful critics, including many in the media and elected politicians, label them subversives and their leaders, hustlers. They say they are unorganized, naive and unable to articulate their purpose. As was the case for all new social, economic and political movements in the U.S., the odds are against them. Much as it has been for those looking to reform the American health care system.

Health Care Reform Movement

And while there is no American health care grassroots movement at present, health care reform is in the midst of social, economic and political change. A change that has been happening in fits and starts for nearly 100 years. Starting in 1915 with the
American Association for Labor Legislation’s proposal for mandatory health insurance, Medicare nearly 50 years later, and Obamacare nearly 50 years after that…

But with all the changes happening in health care, I doubt it will take another 50 years before we see more reform. In fact, I’m thinking that we are headed for a health care reform movement that will dwarf today’s modern social movements. And it’s going to happen soon, real soon. Why do I think this? No, it has nothing to do with the Supreme Court King v. Burrell subsidies case. It is because health insurers, pharmaceutical companies and medical providers have gone too far with the amount of money they keep demanding for their products and services. The sad part about it is that they don’t even know what’s coming.

To date, health insurers, pharmaceutical companies and medical providers have gotten everything they wanted in terms of government regulation and the prices they are able to charge for their goods and services. And because of this they don’t know how to not push the envelope and ask for more. Just read the news surrounding the preliminary
health insurer 2016 rate hike requests and the outrageously expensive prices for specialty drugs, if you need proof.

It is these ever-increasing health care prices that will give birth to a health care reform movement that is capable of organizing, lasting, and getting the legislative changes needed to rein in health care costs. Nothing else will work. Not the faux self-reforms of insurers like “low premium”/high deductible health plans and private exchanges, or the extortionist tactics of big pharma.

Of course there will be critics of the new health care reform movement. They will try and convince everyone that no health care is better than government regulated health care. That government regulated health care prices is socialism. They will claim protestors just don’t understand the complex world of health care. They will claim that people want something they are not entitled to. They will fight hard to maintain the health care status quo. They will lose to a health care reform movement that is inevitable and long overdue.
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