American Social and Political Thought and the Federal Role in Child Health Care
The twentieth-century history of federal involvement in children’s health affairs has followed an interesting pattern: from little concern to deep commitment and then to reluctant participation. Ann Wilson has shown how between 1906 and 1912 Theodore Roosevelt’s administration prodded Congress to establish a Children’s Bureau to determine children’s and parents’ medical and other needs; how Congress backed away from that commitment in the 1920s; how, during the Depression of the 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelt and Congress joined together to pass social legislation to help those in need, including children; and how the current Reagan administration, despite such actions as the “Baby Doe” regulations, has sought to reduce federal involvement in health care financing, Congress’ wishes notwithstanding . Though the three presidents mentioned — Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan — engineered these changes in government policy, they did not act in a vacuum. The general mood of the country, economic conditions, and political philosophy all played a role. To some extent, the medical profession also influenced public policy in this area.
KeywordsAmerican Physician Political Thought Child Health CARE Reagan Administration AMERICAN Social
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