Health Care Reform: 2009-2010

By Alexander Hirsch, Ken Shotts
2011 | Case No. P74
Comprehensive health care insurance reform was a perennial goal of the Democratic Party. Although reform efforts had persistently ended in failure, proponents of reform saw a new window of opportunity after the 2008 Presidential election. Barack Obama had campaigned on the promise of reform and was elected by the largest margin of victory for any Democrat in decades. In Congress, Democrats held large majorities in the House (257 of 435 seats) and the Senate (58 of 100 seats, plus two independents who caucused with Democrats). Soon after his inauguration, President Obama held a forum assembling representatives from Congress, the health care industry, and unions to launch his pursuit of health care reform. This case reviews the public, legislative, and political battle that ensued. It follows the interest groups with a stake in health care policy, and the strategies that they, as well as politicians, used to promote their objectives within the context of U.S. policy making institutions.
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