Health care was expected to be one of the serious issues of the decades following the period of Clinton’s presidency. The costs of health care had already been rising rather quickly for more than a decade. Bill Clinton had already embraced health care reform during his candidacy and the public favored him for this. Public opinion polls during the election showed that after the federal budget deficit and the economy, one of the major concerns among voters was health care. To deal with this concern, the very first initiative that the Clinton took was the Health Security Act (HSA) ("heritage.org"). An in-depth scheme for a national health plan was provided in the HSA, which made it an aspiring and striking proposal. Unfortunately, the HAS went drastically askew and failed drearily in the legislative process. Throughout the Clinton Administration, Medicare proposals were being constantly made. The demise of the HSA only increased the concerns regarding health care among the people.
The issue was initially taken up by the states, and legislation was passed by state governments to limit discrimination against the sick by insurers. In 1996, the Federal government followed in the footsteps of the state and the “Kennedy-Kassebaum Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)” ("heritage.org") was passed. Some of the features of private insurance that the public had been complaining about were reduced by the legislation and even standards for the privacy of medical records were set up by it as well. Since the insurance rules in all 50 states were different, therefore, in 1974 the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act (ERISA) ("heritage.org") was passed, which prohibited the involvement of state governments in the regulation of self-funded insurance plans. When it comes to past health reforms, the Clinton Administration will most likely be remembered for the Health Security Act, which was a drastic failure, and perhaps less for the other successful policies.
When George W. Bush’s presidency began in 2001, the United States was facing three major health care challenges. Namely, millions of uninsured U.S. citizens had to be provided with insurance coverage, Medicare had to be reformed, and a prescription-drug plan had to be set up for the elderly ("nytimes.com"). However, in the next two years, the Bush administration only advanced towards the third of these problems. At the time of Bush’s presidency, a prescription-drug plan was not the most critical health concern that the country was facing. Insuring the uninsured and overhauling Medicare was two of the more pressing was more vital at the time. In fact, Medicare could have been revamped to make it more efficient without making a large, new government program.
Yet, the Bush administration emphasized on providing with upfront coverage and paying a certain percentage of drug bills for low-income older American citizens. During the Bush’s presidency, it did not seem that millions of uninsured would be provided with coverage and certainly something needed to be done ("nytimes.com"). The Bush administration enacted a drug prescription plan instead of not focusing on overarching reforms, and they Bush administration felt that they had done enough and they overlooked the other two serious issues. Thus, President Bush and his administration fell short of improving the health-care system in the United States.
"A Progress Report on the Clinton Health Plan."heritage.org. The Heritage Foundation, 25 1998. Web. 5 Dec 2012.
"Mr. Bush’s Health Care Legacy." nytimes.com. The New York Times, 2 2009. Web. 5 Dec 2012.