Healthcare reform in the USA, 2010: the rocky road ahead?

Helen E Sheehan

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2010.055


Historic legislation for healthcare reform in the United States was enacted in March 2010. Reforms in medical practice, payment for services, and access to care and insurance will be introduced by complex processes over time through 2019. The overriding goals of healthcare reform are cost containment and guaranteeing access to all Americans. The contentious political struggle that preceded the legislation is emblematic of the continuous struggle in American society to define who is worthy of services. Understanding the value framework for social and welfare provisions in American society is crucial to making sense of the piecemeal policymaking characteristic of the development of healthcare over the past 50 years. Here some highlights of the reform and the complex organisation of American healthcare are discussed.

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