An analysis of the forces opposing U.S. health reform

An analysis of the forces opposing U.S. health reform in the last 100 years. How has the opposing force selected complicated health reform efforts within the last 100 years with specifics Explain whether changing political climates have or have not affected the force selected. Analyze how policymakers and policies have attempted to combat the opposing force and explain how successful their efforts have been. Explain how health reform will or will not impact the policy selected for Substance Abuse.
Sample Answer: Writing Guide


The United States’ healthcare system has been a topic of debate for the past century, with many attempts to reform it. However, there have been opposing forces that have hindered these efforts, resulting in the current fragmented system. This paper will analyze the forces opposing U.S. health reform in the last 100 years, how they have complicated health reform efforts, and the impact of changing political climates on these forces. It will also evaluate the policymakers and policies that have attempted to combat these opposing forces and their success rate. Finally, the paper will discuss the potential impact of health reform on the policy selected for substance abuse.

Opposing Forces

The opposing forces to health reform in the United States can be traced back to the early 1900s, with the American Medical Association (AMA) being the primary opposition force. The AMA, representing physicians, was against government intervention in healthcare, fearing that it would lead to socialized medicine. As a result, they opposed any government efforts to provide healthcare to the public, such as Medicare and Medicaid.

In the 1980s, the insurance industry became another significant opposition force to health reform. Insurance companies were against any government efforts to regulate the industry or provide universal coverage, as it would negatively impact their profits.

In recent years, political polarization has become a significant opposition force to health reform. The divide between Democrats and Republicans on healthcare policy has made it difficult to pass comprehensive reform. Republicans have typically favored market-based solutions, while Democrats have advocated for government-led initiatives.

Complicating Health Reform Efforts

The opposing forces to health reform have made it challenging to pass comprehensive legislation. The AMA’s opposition to Medicare and Medicaid delayed their implementation by decades, and the insurance industry’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) led to a lengthy legal battle that reached the Supreme Court. The political polarization on healthcare policy has also made it difficult to pass meaningful reforms, with many proposals stalling in Congress.

Impact of Changing Political Climates

Changing political climates have had a significant impact on the forces opposing health reform. During the New Deal era, when the government was more involved in social programs, the AMA’s opposition was less effective. However, the rise of neoliberalism in the 1980s led to a shift away from government intervention, making the AMA’s opposition more potent. The polarization of healthcare policy has also become more extreme in recent years, making it even more challenging to pass comprehensive health reform.

Policymakers and Policies

Policymakers and policies have attempted to combat the opposing forces to health reform in several ways. The ACA, for example, was designed to regulate the insurance industry and provide universal coverage, despite their opposition. The ACA also included provisions to curb the AMA’s influence, such as the creation of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which would make Medicare payment decisions instead of the AMA.

However, these attempts have not been entirely successful. The ACA faced several legal challenges from the insurance industry, and the Independent Payment Advisory Board was never implemented due to political opposition.

Impact on Substance Abuse Policy

Health reform will undoubtedly impact substance abuse policy. Comprehensive health reform would likely include provisions to expand access to substance abuse treatment and prevention services. It could also lead to increased regulation of the pharmaceutical industry to combat the opioid epidemic. However, without comprehensive health reform, substance abuse policy will continue to be fragmented and underfunded.


Opposing forces to health reform have hindered efforts to create a comprehensive healthcare system in the United States for the past century. The AMA, insurance industry, and political polarization have all contributed to the challenge. Policymakers have attempted to combat these forces through legislation, but their success has been limited. Health reform would undoubtedly impact substance abuse policy positively. However, without comprehensive reform, substance abuse policy will continue to be under

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