Health Care and the American Medical Profession, 1830-1880 by Shauna Devine

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is a landmark healthcare reform law that expands opportunities for care by providing more Americans with access to affordable health insurance. The goal is to provide health insurance to all Americans not covered by their employers or other health programs. However, many Republicans have derided the law suggesting that it imposes too many costs on businesses, its premiums are too high, and it oversteps the proper domain of the federal government with their so-called intrusion upon businesses, the states, and the lives and choices of individuals. The Republican-controlled government is now well on its way to repealing and replacing Obamacare with a version of the law titled the Better Care Reconciliation Act. Some people on the Right have praised the new law, while others worry they may be one of the millions who may lose health insurance with the repeal of Obamacare.

Navigating health care has always been a challenging part of our nation’s history. There have been at various times too few physicians, inadequate care or delivery of service, and rising costs of health care all situated alongside a growing public demand for adequate medical care. These debates are personal and political and have their roots in public expectation and the social contract between the medical profession, people, and government.

The entire article can be viewed on the Journal of the Civil War Era Muster blog.