The Action Period of Healthcare Legislation

  • Donald F. Lavanty


With Medicare and Medicaid in place, Congress set about determining how to properly staff the medical community to meet the needs of patients. Continuing to work in a spirit of bipartisan collaboration, it determined that there was a shortage of physicians, osteopathic doctors, and dentists. Passage of the Health Manpower Act and the Hill-Burton Act provided incentives for medical education and the construction of hospitals and other medical facilities. The result was an explosion in the number of medical specialists (encouraged by the areas of funding/study undertaken by the newly established National Institutes of Health), a lack of primary care physicians, and difficulty attracting medical professionals to rural areas. Amendments to Hill-Burton helped to address some of these issues, making it easier for hospitals to hire foreign-trained primary care physicians and providing incentives for rural areas to build facilities, hire physicians, and provide services to the poor. Conversely, in large cities where Hill-Burton funds were used for expansion, technology and services were being duplicated from hospital to hospital. Two additional amendments, the Comprehensive Health Planning Program and the Regional Medical Program, helped to consolidate regional services and led to the development of specialty clinics across the country.


Health Manpower Act Hill-Burton Act Allied Health Professions National Institutes of Health Vietnam War 


  1. Amendments to the Social Security Act, Pub. L. No. 92-603. 1972.Google Scholar
  2. Health Professions Education Assistance Act, Pub. L. No. 88-128, 77 Stat 164. 1963.Google Scholar
  3. Hill-Burton Act, Pub. L. No. 79-725, 60 Stat. 1040. 1946.Google Scholar
  4. Immigration and Nationality Act, Pub. L. No. 89-236. 1965.Google Scholar
  5. Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security Amendments, Pub. L. No. 80-97, 79 Stat 286. 1965.Google Scholar
  6. Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. 6A §201 et seq. 1944.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald F. Lavanty
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Healthcare Management and Legal Studies School of Business and TechnologyMarymount UniversityArlingtonUSA
  2. 2.Law DegreeGeorge Washington UniversityWashington, DCUSA

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