The Future of Employer-Based Health Insurance

Kaiser Permanente, The Permanente Medical Group, The Permanente Federation


Michael J Pentecost, MD

Spring 2007 - Volume 11 Number 2

https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/06-148

America honors four presidents with monuments on the National Mall in Washington, DC, and Franklin D Roosevelt didn't get his by chance. Leadership out of the Depression, triumph in World War II, and the New Deal are just part of his immense legacy.

But President Roosevelt didn't do it all. In 1935, forced to choose between his highest domestic policy priorities--a minimum guaranteed income for the elderly and a national health insurance program--he picked the former (ie, Social Security) putting medical coverage on temporary hold. ("Temporary" stretched to 30 years until the passage of Medicare legislation in 1965.)

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