U.S. Health Care History and Foundations

U.S. Health Care History and Foundations

Significant Date Event Major Figures and Contributions to Health Advancements in Healthcare Type of Health care organization/Entities were affected
1847 The American Medical Association was instituted in 1847 and biggest physician association. It comprises of medical physicians, osteopathic medicine and medicine scholars in the US. The AMA was founded by Dr. Smith David. He became the first editor of the Journal of the AMA and was elected twice as the president. The AMA has altered health care to develop a better future. The organization is also a leader in discouraging ethnic variances in health sector. The AMA had an impact on patient care as improved public health better. Furthermore, the AMA continues to devising fresh paths of varying health care sector.
1935 Social Security Act (SSA) offers profits, for instance, social welfare and social insurance plans for unwaged and immobilised American citizens. The program is financed through taxes rather than the federal administration. The act was enacted into law by President Franklin D on August 14th 1935. The Act transformed healthcare sector as it sanctioned the disbursement of benefits to approximately more than 20million citizens. Prior to the enactment, most senior citizens were impoverished after retirement.  The act provided the benefits affording insurance and health care services.
1965 Medicare and Medicaid law also identified as the Medicare Bill. The act initiated a health insurance cover for senior citizens. President Lyndon B. Johnson enacted the law as part of the amendments within the Social Security Act. The Medicare and Medicaid Act aided in ending discrimination in hospitals.

It similarly encouraged more individuals to receive healthcare under the decree.

Due to the Medicare and Medicaid Act, they developed into the principal health agencies to offer health cover in US.  Moreover, hospitals are more probable to attend to grown-ups covered by Medicaid compared to uninsured adults.
1969 Advanced Directive or Living Wills was instituted by Luis Kutner. This would let persons possess a lawful written manuscript of the final wishes.


Kutner suggested that living wills be a lawful manuscript to let individuals convey end of life requests.  This will be the due procedure of euthanasia. When people develop wills or medical power of attorney, this describes what the medical facility may or may not do. For instance, protracting a patient’s life by placing them under life support or donating organs upon demise. The key establishments affected are medical facilities, particularly for individuals believed to be critically ill, extremely incapacitated, or in the late periods of dementia, and at the end of an individual’s life.
1977 Magnetic Resonance Imaging lets doctors and scientists to observe the internal organs the body. Raymond Damadian recommended and developed the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). MRIs have altered health care as the images may be observed. Moreover, the imageries may be sent to different locations and access results in short period. MRI machines are situated in a hospital’s radiology department. The patients are similarly affected as it is important for the patient to disclose if they have pacemakers or any metallic objects. This is due to the machine using huge magnetic and radio waves to observe.
1980 Smallpox eradication was affirmed by the World Health Organization. The disease was attributed to variola virus. In 1796, the first modern smallpox vaccine was introduced by Edward Jenner. Smallpox eradication altered healthcare as people faced a greater risk of exposure to the virus. Small eradication has been regarded as the main accomplishment in global public health. Citizens from every stated were affected by smallpox. In recent years, proper hospitals or health care facilities to quarantine the citizens did not exist.
1986 The Emergency Medical treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) ensured that patients would access care regardless of patient’s ability to cater for health care services. The EMTALA was drafted by Upper house in 1986 as part of the Combined Omnibus Financial plan Reconciliation Act of 1985 and approved  by President Ronald Reagan EMTALA has altered how emergency divisions assist individuals that could not initially access assistance. EMTALA had an impact on hospitals’ administrative expenses and insurance they were accountable and writing-off costs for people that could not afford medical services.
1987 Statin Medications were instituted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and were sanctioned to treat heart ailments (Endo, 2010). Akira Endo, A Japanese biochemist, succeeded at isolating an element from Penicillum citrinum as a viable inhibitor. The authorization of statin medications altered health care as it authorized health care providers to initiate fresh and beneficial ways of helping patients. A healthcare organizations administrative division would have to be accountable for additional medication for doctors to integrate.
1996 The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 also identified as HIPPA was a “state decree that necessitated the establishment of national principles to safeguard patient health data (Edemekong Annamaraju & Haydel, 2020). President Bill Clinton enacted HIPAA and was regarded as one of the utmost significant health care act in United States history. This altered healthcare as every health care entity was not permitted to reveal a patient’s private medical data devoid of the patient’s authorization. The people affected by HIPAA entail health care corporations, health insurance providers and also health providers.
2010 President Obama enacted the Affordable care Act, which was also known as Obama care (Glied Ma & Borja, 2017). President Barak Obama sought to advance healthcare in America. This would consent to more reasonable and high-quality care by making health care a fundamental right and not a privilege. The ACA has simply made complex out-of-pocket payments, deductible compared to the original rates. The ACA has had an immense impact on patients, health care corporations, and health insurance establishments.




In the United States, health care is a subject that has an impact on the daily lives on the citizens of America.  Therefore, it is imperative to explore past enhancements within healthcare sector to devise ways of improving the healthcare sector.  In the above chart, there are ten significant dates that portray the impacts on the healthcare system and policies along with citizens’ general health.  Moreover, there are numerous determinants that are encompassed in health care; for instance, social aspects, accessibility of health services, a person’s conduct, biology and genetics, and policy-making. Moreover, various acts such as the Social Security Act, which includes Medicare and Medicaid, The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have all had a substantial effect on healthcare in the United States. These health care plans have resulted in certain outcomes amongst the American Citizens attributed to the policy and Healthcare system in the US.

The policies have had a substantial effect on ways American citizens can easily access healthcare services. Correspondingly, President Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted the Social Security Act (SSA) in 1935 which was intended to offer pension to the senior citizens and disabled, to avert any instances of destitution. Nonetheless, in 1965, when the Medicare and Medicaid was enacted into a statute by President Lyndon Johnson, it provided insurance cover for people above the age of 65. In most cases, Medicaid is considered to execute similar undertakings as Medicare. Nonetheless, it delivered health cover for low income persons, expectant women, people with disabilities, and those that require long-term care through national and stated financed programs. Medicare and Medicaid are one of the principal firms that offer health insurance policies within the US.

The need for reasonably priced healthcare cover was realized the enactment of the Affordable healthcare act. The Affordable Care Act was initially presented in 2009 in the opening meeting of the 111th Upper house and was supported by the House Dean, Michigan’s John Dingell (Glied Ma & Borja, 2017).. In 2010, President Barrack Obama enacted into law the Affordable Care Act and it was also regarded as Obama Care. The main aim of the ACA was to attempt and make health insurance extra reasonable to enhance the citizens’ ability to acquire personal and family health insurance cover. Failure to acquire an insurance cover amounted to a tax penalty as the Act’s sole aim was upgrading the quality of care and reducing the healthcare costs for the American citizens. During the initial enrolment of the Affordable care act in 2013, the number of uninsured American citizens declined from 41 million people to 27million people.  Currently, the Affordable Care Act has presented more people with a chance to access to health cover and enhanced their accessibility to quality health care. The Emergency Medical treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) ensures American citizens have access to healthcare services irrespective of a patient’s capability to cater for the medical bills. Additionally, it lets American citizens to receive treatment in the predicament room when in urgent need.





Edemekong, P. F. Annamaraju, P. Haydel, M. J. (2020). Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) [Updated 2020 Mar 29]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK500019/

Endo A. (2010). A historical perspective on the discovery of statins. Proceedings of the Japan Academy. Series B, Physical and biological sciences86(5), 484–493. https://doi.org/10.2183/pjab.86.484

Glied, S, A., Ma, S. & Borja, A. (2017). Effect of the Affordable Care Act on Health Care Access. Commonwealth Fund. https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2017/may/effect-affordable-care-act-health-care-access

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