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The History of Healthcare Reform in the United States Tags: healthcare history reform united states law

Healthcare is a hot topic, especially now that Trump has been elected president and he’s stated that he wants to make some big changes to the way people get their health insurance. But in order to understand current health law and policy, you need to look at what happened in the past. Below is a short summary of the history of healthcare reform in the United States.

If you think that you would like to make a change to healthcare and people’s ability to access it, continue reading to learn more, and consider getting your masters in health law to start work in the field.

President Truman

President Truman was the first president to attempt to reform healthcare during the post-war era of the US. President Roosevelt, who was Truman’s predecessor, didn’t really address accessibility to healthcare, so Truman proposed a new idea that would provide universal health coverage. It would have been administered by, and also paid for by, the National Health Insurance Board. Opponents to this idea included the American Medical Association, which didn’t want socialized medicine to be in place. The bill didn’t make it through Congress, but Truman tried again in 1948. However, the Korean War prevented him from passing any changes.

President Kennedy

President Kennedy’s administration was in support of the King-Anderson bill, which stated that health insurance would be provided only to individuals who were 65 years of age and older, and it would come as part of the benefits package received through Social Security. This ultimately set the foundation for what would become Medicare, but the bill itself was opposed by the American Medical Association and was eventually defeated.  

President Johnson

President Johnson wanted extensive reforms as part of his Great Society plan. Even though he was opposed by the American Medical Association, he was able to get legislation passed that would establish both Medicare and Medicaid.

President Carter

President Jimmy Carter was serious about getting universal health coverage implemented so that everyone in the country would benefit. However, because of various economic problems, including a recession, his ideas never got much attention, and there wasn’t much support for them either.

President Reagan

President Reagan wanted to curb excessive borrowing and spending by the government, so there weren’t going to be any government administered healthcare programs. Instead, new laws were implemented that were focused upon reducing spending on healthcare while boosting efficiency. He changed Medicare reimbursement methods and implemented anti-fraud protocols. He also ended up expanding Medicare benefits through the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988.

President George H.W. Bush to the Present

Under President Bush, the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988 was repealed because of widespread disappointment in it. He wanted to instead reduce federal spending related to healthcare, as well as reduce abuse and fraud within Medicaid and Medicare.  

President Clinton and President George W. Bush were unable to make any big changes to healthcare law, but during President Obama’s term, the Affordable Care Act, which brought many changes into effect, was passed.

Today, with Donald Trump getting ready to take office as the next president, everyone is wondering what new changes will come for those who need healthcare in America.

New study says medical marijuana dispensaries lower crime rates Tags: arn fbi gangs gangs lapd law enforcement

A new study released by the RAND Corporation concludes that medical marijuana dispensaries decrease crime levels. The RAND Corporation’s study looked at crime rates in the areas surrounding 600 dispensaries. 170 of those shops closed after the LA City Council passed an ordinance shutting 70% of dispensaries last year. The study claims crime increased up to 60% within a three-block radius of the dispensaries after closing. Within six blocks, the rate was 25%. The LAPD has no official response yet to the the study, but Department Spokesman Lieutenant Andy Neiman did say:

“I can tell you that we know very factually that there have been very serious crimes at certain pot dispensaries, including burglary, robbery, and also murder.”

Lieutenant Neiman says the study’s conclusions don’t match the LAPD’s experience:

“You know, it’s something that has always been contrary to the common wisdom of law enforcement.”

LAPD is considering whether it will conduct its own study of the issue. Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana advocacy group, has conducted studies which echo RAND’s findings. Don Duncan, the group’s California Director, says the LAPD’s response is typical:

“I’m not surprised to see law enforcement skeptical—they’ve ignored research on this topic and the experiences we’ve had in the past.”

Duncan hopes that the study will help convince cities to regulate, not ban, medical marijuana:

“So, the most important thing that our elected officials could realize is that they can regulate medical cannabis. It’s not too dangerous, it’s not too complicated, and I hope that the RAND study helps reinforce that point, that regulation is really the way to go”.

The study’s author cautions that the study is a snapshot of the issue and welcomes the opportunity to review more data.

Michigan court deals blow to new medical marijuana law Tags: Michigan court deals blow to new medical marijuana law

(Reuters) - A Michigan court on Wednesday dealt a blow to a nascent industry developing around the state's new medical marijuana law, ruling that sales are not permitted between registered patients.

An appeals court ordered a central Michigan medical marijuana dispensary closed as a public nuisance. It had facilitated the sale of about 19 pounds of marijuana between its members in the first 2-1/2 months after it opened in May 2010.

The dispensary in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, which generated about $21,000 before expenses in that opening period, violated state public health laws, the court found.

Michigan, whose voters approved the medical marijuana act in November 2008, is one of 17 states plus the District of Columbia which have active programs allowing possession and cultivation of marijuana for certain ailments.

Brandon McQueen and Matthew Taylor opened the dispensary called Compassionate Apothecary, or CA. McQueen is registered as a patient and as a primary caregiver for three other patients, while Taylor is a caregiver for two patients.

The Michigan law allows registered patients to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana at any one time and caregivers to possess up to 2.5 ounces per patient. Patients and caregivers also can possess up to an additional 12 marijuana plants.

The state has approved more than 96,000 patient registrations since rules were put in place in April 2009.

Under the dispensary's rules, members paid $5 per month and it rented 27 storage lockers for $50 a month where excess marijuana was made available for sale to member patients.

Patients who sought to buy the marijuana inspected samples under the supervision of dispensary workers who retrieved the drugs from the storage lockers, weighed and packaged them and then took the payments, the appeals court noted.

The dispensary took 20 percent of the sale price of the marijuana as a fee, but said they did not own the drugs.

The court disagreed, saying the dispensary possessed the marijuana stored in the lockers and controlled the drugs.

(Writing by David Bailey; Editing by Greg McCune)

Michigan medical marijuana law set for fall legislative review Tags: Michigan medical marijuana law set for fall legislative review

The legislative push to place tighter controls on medical marijuana will begin in the fall and one change could make it a felony for a physician to authorize use of the drug by falsely certifying the applicant has a debilitating condition.

Attorney General Bill Schuette, law enforcement officials and lawmakers said today the 2008 voter-approved law is intentionally vague, so as to allow profit-oriented marijuana dispensaries to openly sell the drug to customers who can now obtain a certificate with minimal effort online.

When voters approved the citizen-initiated medical marijuana law, "they did not vote to legalize marijuana or a pot free-for-all, which is what we have here in Michigan,” Schuette said. “We need to bring this law back into line to what voters intended.”

Bills introduced on the House’s last day in session before summer break on June 30 make a couple of big changes.

House Bill 4851 calls for a “bona fide” physican-patient relationship requiring doctors to conduct an in-person, physical exam that would include a full assessment of a patient’s medical history and current medical condition.

It would require that a physician had treated the underlying medical condition for which the marijuana certification is being sought and will continue to provide treatment after certification is granted. Certifying doctors, moreover, would have to first notify an applicant’s primary care doctor.

A second measure strips any legal protections for marijuana users and caregivers who acquire or dispense the drug outside strict boundaries of the law. That law states a patient can keep 12 plants in a closed, locked facility. A caregiver can provide marijuana to no more than five patients.

Schuette and lawmakers assert the presence of so many dispensaries across the state is proof the law is widely flouted.

A third bill bars physicians and caregivers from advertising their services. Another clarifies that local communities can keep dispensaries out of their community through local zoning.

Schuette also wants legislation requiring medical marijuana only be transported in the trunk of a car. Other changes would make it clear driving under the influence is illegal and bar convicted felons from registering as licensed caregivers.

Rep. John Walsh, R-Livonia, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said committee work on the bills would begin in September.

Mary Lindemann, a lobbyist for Cannabis Patients United, said medical marijuana advocates intend to work constructively with lawmakers, but said physicians that offer certification should be regulated through the public health code like all doctors. And that all specialties should be treated the same.

Both sides will have to work together because amending the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act requires in many cases a three-fourth’s vote.

Contact Peter Luke at (517) 487-8888 ext. 235 or e-mail him at [email protected]

Judge Asked To Toss Marijuana Lawsuit Tags: Judge Asked To Toss Marijuana Lawsuit

Posted by CN Staff on August 01, 2011 at 21:00:05 PT
By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services 
Source: Yuma Sun 

medical Phoenix -- Federal attorneys asked a judge on Monday to throw out a lawsuit filed by Gov. Jan Brewer seeking a ruling about the legality of the state's medical marijuana law.

Deputy U.S. Attorney Scott Risner said there is no legal basis for the lawsuit. Risner told U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton in legal papers filed in her court that, absent some actual threat of prosecution under federal drug laws by his office, the question is purely academic and therefore not a proper subject for litigation.

But state Attorney General Tom Horne, who filed the lawsuit in May on the governor's behalf, said Risner is telling only part of the story.

The fight surrounds the decision by Arizona voters last year to set up a system allowing those with a doctor's recommendation and a state-issued ID card to purchase marijuana from state-regulated dispensaries.

Since that time, several federal prosecutors, including Dennis Burke, the U.S. attorney for Arizona, warned that possession and sale of the drug remain illegal under federal law. Brewer then directed Horne to ask a federal court whether Arizona could implement its program anyway.

In the interim, the state health department, at Brewer's direction, decided not to license any dispensaries, though they have continued to certify patients as medical marijuana users.

Risner said the problem with Horne's lawsuit is that no state employee involved in issuing licenses — those that Brewer said she was most concerned about — is facing prosecution.

But Horne said that's not exactly true.

He pointed out that federal prosecutors, in their letters to state officials in Arizona and elsewhere, essentially said that medical marijuana users have nothing to fear. It's what those letters did not say, Horne said, that amounts to a threat.

“They gave no assurance to state employees, they gave no assurance to dispensaries. And they said they were going to vigorously prosecute anyone who is involved in the distribution of marijuana,” Horne continued, a category that could include state workers. “What unbelievable hypocrites!”

Horne also brushed aside Risner's argument that there can be no risk of prosecution to state health workers since they are neither accepting nor processing applications from those who want to operate dispensaries.

“We asked for the court decision and we said we'll hold it up until there is a court decision,” Horne complained. He called it “sophistry” for the Department of Justice to now argue that the state, by putting the license-issuing process on hold, is not entitled to a ruling on the very issue that is holding up the process in the first place.

Risner did not return a call to his office seeking comment.

It's not just the Department of Justice trying to have the governor's lawsuit dismissed. Would-be dispensary operators and the American Civil Liberties Union are making similar arguments in their own legal filings.

Bolton has not set a date for a hearing.

Source: Sun, The (Yuma, AZ)
Author: Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: August 1, 2011
Copyright: 2011 The Sun
Website: http://www.yumasun.com/
URL: http://drugsense.org/url/kfjhMs5e
Contact: http://drugsense.org/url/afYuHROS

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