New deal for a new era

Thesis: The new healthcare bill is the most monumental piece of legislation since Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal; it is an attempt to revamp some of the government's largest programs in response to a growing problem, which includes rising health insurance costs and increasing rates of uninsured Americans.

From the 1800's to the current age, government run healthcare for citizens has been a major issue for American citizens. There is no doubt that healthcare reform has been a huge undertaking for the Obama administration and Congress, consuming the attention of the government for months. The debate is no longer confined to Washington D.C., as the proposed changes have sparked storms of emotion from voters across the nation, both liberal and conservative. A new bill, named HR 3200, calls for affordable healthcare for Americans and the overall reduction of health care spending. As the proposed legislation continues to change form due to political wrangling and compromise, the public has not lost interest. The issue remains on the forefront of many people's minds. If successful, this bill carries potential repercussions that will be felt for decades to come. But regardless of their political views or ideas toward the bill, both sides would likely agree that the bill is a historic piece of legislation, the likes of which the nation has not seen for decades. For these reasons, it is certainly fair to say that the new healthcare bill is the most monumental piece of legislation since Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal; it is an attempt to revamp some of the government's largest programs in response to a growing problem, which includes rising health insurance costs and increasing rates of uninsured Americans.

Purpose of Body Paragraph One: Provide History of the New Deal

Elected on March 4, 1933, President Theodore Roosevelt set into motion a series of reforms called the New Deal. The 1930's was the period of the Great Depression, where banks failed and the stock market crashed (known as Black Tuesday). This depression that took place in the United States ultimately led to a worldwide recession. Upon taking office, President Roosevelt focused on "Relief, Recovery, and Reform" (Wikipedia). He signed revolutionary bills which provided the stimulus needed to bring the economy back from the recession. Numerous programs were started, some of the major ones included Social Security (a social welfare program for the old, unemployed, and needy) and the Glass-Steagall Act (which slowed down deflation). One of the most critical acts of Roosevelt's Presidency was the repeal of the 21st amendment, which banned alcohol. Besides lowering the crime rate due to illegal sale of alcohol, this enabled the Government to tax sold alcohol. During this time, Roosevelt's approval ratings skyrocketed, making Roosevelt one of the most revered presidents of all time (Wikipedia). The President even cut down military budgets, which inadvertently sparked protests all over the nation. Despite this, the New Deal and its programs were successful and would be remembered for years to come.

Purpose of Body Paragraph Two: Why Health Care is not a new issue

Astonishingly, the Health Care issue in the United States is not a new issue, first mentioned in newspapers in the 1950's. The issue, however, was not of great importance during that time period. Nearly a century ago, in 1916, the Yale economist Irving Fisher noted that America was alone in the developed world without mandatory health insurance (Lepore). The parliament of Britain passed the National Insurance Act of 1912, however, the United States did not follow suit. A couple years later, there were numerous health-related problems caused by bad hygiene, sanitation, and nutrition (Achievements in Public Health). Although there were internal efforts in the Roosevelt administration for public health care, the government had to prioritize other domestic problems instead (Healthcare Crisis: Healthcare Timeline).The fact that the reform attempts to fix a problem that has worried economists and other experts for decades is another reason of its importance. Ultimately, the Health Care reform bill is similar to New Deal because both programs attempt to fix a long term problem.

Purpose of Body Paragraph Three: Why is Health Care Important

Health care reform is also as ambitious as the New Deal in its scope and mission: to get millions of Americans insured. This is similar to how the New Deal was created to give millions of suffering unemployed men work. The fact that more people lose their employer-sponsored health care every day when they are laid off has proven that the private sector has failed millions of Americans in the recession. The reform is similar to how President Roosevelt stepped in to employ millions of men that the private sector could not. The fact that health care reform seeks to give coverage to thirty million uninsured Americans (Health Care Reform) demonstrates that it is ambitious at an equivalent level as the New Deal, whose Works Progress Administration employed 8.5 million out-of-work people (Taylor). The new healthcare bill will create jobs in the millions, bringing the economy back from turmoil.

Purpose of Body Paragraph Four: Why HR3200 is important

The voters of all political views realize the monumental nature of bill HR 3200, which is in a period where the economy is struggling to emerge from the worst slowdown since the Great Depression. This issue is also the most divisive issue in America, according to a Gallup Poll (Kliff). The poll notes that there is a 67 point gap between Republicans and Democrats. Only 7% of Republicans agree with Obama's handling of the health care bill, while a whopping 74% of Democrats agree with Obama's handling of the health care bill. The fact that the public is most polarized over this issue demonstrates that people at all points on the ideological spectrum realize the epic nature of the legislation and the lasting effects it will have on the country. People want their voice heard on this issue immediately.

In conclusion, health care reform is as important and necessary as the New Deal. It is similarly ambitious in scope, and seeks to solve a problem that predates the presidency of Roosevelt. It would transform the lives of millions, on a scale that the New Deal did. Even voters themselves, who are often charged with being disinterested and ill-informed about public issues, are fiercely opinionated on the subject. Voters are not willing to let the government give up on the issue altogether. The majority know that the problem can't continue and drastic action is needed, no matter how difficult it is to make happen.


  • "Health Care Reform." The New York Times. Web. 10 February 2010.
  • Kliff, Sarah. "Gallup Poll: Health-Care Reform Now America's Most Divisive Issue." Newsweek. Web. 10 February 2010.
  • Lepore, Jill. "Preexisting Condition." The New Yorker. Web. 10 February 2010.
  • Murray, Shailagh, & Kane, Paul. "Obama Meets with Republicans to Bridge Partisan Divide." The Washington Post. Web. 10 February 2010.
  • Taylor Jr., Quintard. "History 101: New Deal Agencies. University of Washington. n.d. Web. 10 February 2010.
  • Zinn, Howard. "Beyond the New Deal." The Nation. Web. 10 February 2010.
  • United States. "HR 3200". Candice Miller. 14 July 2009. Web. 10 February 2010.
  • "New Deal" Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Web. 12 Feb. 2010.
  • "Healthcare Crisis: Healthcare Timeline." PBS. Web. 12 Feb. 2010.
  • "Achievements in Public Health, 1900-1999: Changes in the Public Health System." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web. 14 Feb. 2010.

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