No we can't: Struggles in U.S. Health Care Reform

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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed in 2010 as the first comprehensive national health insurance program designed to cover all American citizens. The ACA was not the first attempt to reform the health care system. Obama was preceded by Roosevelt who introduced the Social Security Act, Truman who failed to have his proposal for national health insurance legislated, Johnson who enacted Medicare and Medicaid, and Clinton who also ultimately failed miserably. Initially these attempts did not bode for Obama’s proposal. Yet, he managed to get his plan passed without a single Republican vote. In order to answer the question of this thesis why he was successful whilst others was not, I will undertake an analysis of previous literature to create a historical framework of prior attempts. I will also analyze other studies that will offer a range of explanations and strategies implemented by Obama during and after the passage of the ACA. The findings indicate that Obama strategically framed his proposal before the enactment with a “market” frame, and after its passage to a “rights” frame. Also, Obama made strategical use of the Democratic majority in Congress. These strategies may have secured the passage of the ACA.
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