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Article updated. Final sections and bibliography changed to reflect and discuss enactment of Affordable Care Act.

Updated on 4 November 2013. The previous version of this content can be found here.

Abstract and Keywords

This entry presents an overview of national health-care reform in the United States, from its introduction into the public policy agenda at the turn of the 20th century through policy debates and legislative proposals more than a century later. Specifically, it concentrates on the programs and strategies to obtain universal coverage for health and mental-health services for all Americans at the national level, with limited success. It ends with a discussion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Special emphasis is laid on the roles of social workers and their professional organizations during this period.

Keywords: health-care reform, health insurance, managed care, Medicaid, Medicare, single-payer system, health policy, health financing

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