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The United States was founded from the original 13 colonies in 1776 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence from Britain. Since then the nation has grown to 50 states and the District of Columbia. The United States is called a ‘melting pot’ when it comes to cultural diversity as the nation is made up of indigenous Indian tribes and peoples from all over the world (Zimmerman, 2015). According to Zimmerman (2015) “There is no official language of the United States, according to the U.S. government”, yet “Ninety percent of the U.S. population speaks and understands at least some English, and most official business is conducted in English”(para 6). “Nearly every known religion is practiced in the United States, which was founded on the basis of religious freedom”(Zimmerman, 2015, para 8). Cowboys, baseball and apple pie are popular identifiers of American culture.
Britain’s history goes as far back as AD 259 when the Gallic Empire was created by Postumus of Rome (British Broadcasting Corporation, 2014). The U. K. is made up of four interdependent nations; England, Scotland, Whales, and Northern Ireland. Support for the monarchy, political parties and soccer are the common threads between them. The official language is English. The official religion is Christianity as practiced by the Anglican Church.
The government of the United States is a democracy governed by a constitution. “The Constitution of the United States divides the federal government into three branches to ensure a central government in which no individual or group gains too much control”(USA.gov, 2015, para 1). The three branches are the Judicial, which evaluates laws; the Legislative, which makes laws; and the Executive, which carries out the laws. “The U.S. federal government seeks to act in the best interests of its citizens through this system of checks and balances”(USA.gov, 2015, para 2).
“The United Kingdom is a parliamentary democracy: government is voted into power by the people, to act in the interests of the people. Every adult has the right to vote - known as 'universal suffrage'. Alongside this system, the UK is also a constitutional monarchy. This is a situation where there is an established monarch (currently Queen Elizabeth II), who remains politically impartial and with limited power”(Parliament.uk, n.d.).
In 1935 President Roosevelt signed legislation for the Social Security Act and the first National Health Survey (NHIS) was conducted. The NHIS “is the principal source of information on the health of the civilian non institutionalized population of the United States”(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012, para 1). In 1965 the Medicare and Medicaid programs were signed into law effectively providing government health care for the poor and aged of the United States. The 1970’s were littered with bills by multiple senators introducing some type of national health care due to the rising costs of medical care and inflation. With the economic recession, all efforts at national health reform were put on a back burner. Health care for children and pregnant women was the focus of the next decade with further expansions of the Medicaid program. The COBRA act allowing employees who lose their jobs to continue their health plans for 18 months and the Family Support Act requiring 1 year of transitional medicaid for families leaving welfare programs due to increased wages are signed into law. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and Mental Health Parity Act are the only two good bills passed before Clinton’s infidelity became the focal point of the nation and the world.
Finally, in 2010 President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law requiring all individuals of the United States to have health care by 2014 or pay a penalty. The health care exchanges are formed allowing insurance to be purchased privately, or provided by an employer or the government.
In 1929 the British government took over the operation of local hospitals with the Local Government Act. ”The National Health Service started in 1948 in a society weary but disciplined by war, and accustomed to austerity”(Rivett, n.d., para 6). This service was financed almost 100% from taxation with rich paying a greater proportion than the poor. All persons in England were eligible for care and could be referred to any hospital for care. All care was free to the consumer at this point in the system. The Hospital Plan introduced by Prime Minister Powell in 1962 proposed the development of district general hospitals as the existing ones were outdated and damaged from the war. “As the result of the Hospital Plan, some new hospitals were appearing and providing people with a better and more local service”(Rivett, n.d., para 28). In the 1980’s the NHS underwent reform introducing the concept of General Management which encouraged: • “one individual at every level of an organization being responsible and having authority and accountability for planning and implementing decisions • more flexibility in team structures • greater emphasis on clear leadership Doctors were encouraged to become more involved with budget decisions”(Rivett, n.d., para 34). The NHA and Community Care Act was signed into law in 1990 creating an internal market that “was the Conservative Government's attempt to address problems, such as growing waiting lists, which had risen in the 1980s as a result of shortage of money while demand rose inexorably”(Rivett, n.d., para 39).
According to Chang, Peysakhovich, Wang & Zhu (n. d.) ”Recent changes in the NHS include the dissolving of the current government management structure by 2014, which would put some 30,000 administrators out of work. Also, 80% of the NHS budget will be turned over to doctors to have them spend as they see fit. The purpose of this reform is to encourage the ongoing privatization of the healthcare industry in order to give more choices to the patients. The reforms are put in place to help lower medical costs and patient waiting times”(para 5).
Health care comparison mn 507
Health Care in the
United States and U. K.:
Theresa Fahey-Sales R.N., B. S. N.
April 10, 2015
Parliamentary Democracy AND
Development of the Health
System - U. S.
1935 - The Social Security Act
1944 - FDR introduced the economic bill of rights
1965 - Medicare and Medicaid programs signed into law
1985 - Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
1996 - Health Insurance Portability Act and the Mental
Health Parity Act
2010 - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Public Law 111-148
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
March 23, 2010
Development of the Health
System- U. K.
1929 - The Local Government Act
1948 - The National Health Service is started
1962 - The Hospital Plan
1984 - General Management introduced
1990 - The NHA and Community Care Act
2006 - Patient choice for elective surgery introduced
2012 - Health and Social Care Act
Policy - U. K.
dissolving current government management
turning over 80% of the budget to doctors
increased privatization of the healthcare
British Broadcasting Company. (2014). British history timeline. Retrieved from
Chang, J., Peysakhovich, F., Wang, W., & Zhu, J. (n. d.). The UK health care
system. Retrieved from http://assets.ce.columbia.edu/pdf/actu/actu-uk.pdf
Rivett, G. (n.d.) National Health Service History. Retrieved from
www.Parliament.uk. (n.d.). Parliament and government. Retrieved from
www.USA.gov. (2015). U. S. federal government. Retrieved from
Zimmerman, . (2015). American culture: traditions and customs of the United
States. Retrieved from http://www.livescience.com/28945-american-culture.html