Presidents and Health Reform

From Franklin D. Roosevelt to Barack Obama

The health care reforms that President Barack Obama signed into law in March 2010 were 75 years in the making. Since Franklin D. Roosevelt, U.S. presidents have struggled to enact national health care reform; most failed.

This article explores the highly charged political landscape in which Obama maneuvered and the skills he brought to bear. It contrasts his accomplishments with the experiences of his Oval Office predecessors. Going forward, implementation poses formidable challenges for Democrats, Republicans, and the political process itself.

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