Monday, March 22, 2010

Once Upon a Time, Republicans Advocated Health Care Reform

Yesterday, Congress passed the much- debated health care reform bill. I can’t really remember the last time an issue so polarized the Congress, and the nation at large. After its passage, Democrats hailed health care reform as historic legislation in line with Social Security and Medicare. On the other hand, Republicans panned the bill calling it a “financial Frankenstein.” No matter what your views on its passage, I think we can all agree that it is historic legislation that will certainly be remembered as a fundamental part of Obama’s presidency. Over the weekend, the president and other proponents of the bill were out plugging it across the country, and the president’s words in particular inspired me to do a little research.
In a speech this weekend at George Mason University, President Obama said that the call for health care reform began with a Republican president, Teddy Roosevelt, which was later echoed by another Republican president, Richard Nixon. I wanted to know if these claims were in fact true, or just an attempt to couch his legislation in a broad sense of bi-partisanship. After a little research, it turns out that there were once actual Republicans who approved of sweeping health care reform.
When Theodore Roosevelt was running for a third term as part of the Progressive “Bull Moose” Party in 1912, national health insurance was a plank in his party’s platform. Health Care was listed as the 11th issue under “Social and Industrial Justice.” (  In 1974, Republican President Richard Nixon also advocated major Health Care reform. In his letter to Congress, he advocated a federal program of health care reform that does not look that different from the legislation that was passed yesterday. Read Nixon’s letter to Congress here

What are your thoughts on the bill?

[Image via fusewashington]

No comments:

Post a Comment