PLEDGE NOW
Health Care Reform and History

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California holds the gavel used to pass Medicare reform as she walks across the street and into the U.S. Capitol as the House prepares to vote on health care reform on Sunday, March 21, 2010. Walking with Pelosi, from left, are Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Rep. John Larson, D-Conn. (AP)

And so it’s done — in the House. Health care reform, the dream of presidents going back to Harry Truman and beyond, is headed for reconciliation and the desk of President Barack Obama.

Republicans call it a nightmare. Supporters call it history-making — in the tradition of Social Security and Medicare. By any measure, it is a rare moment of large-scale reform.

Social legislation is never a cakewalk in this country. As the gavel echoes today on health care reform, we’ll look at how this push compared to those that came before.

This hour, On Point: we’re taking the long view on reform.

Guests:

Joining us from Washington is Karen Tumulty, national political correspondent for Time magazine.

With us in our studio is Bruce Schulman, professor of 20th-century U.S. history at Boston University and author of, among other books, “Lyndon B. Johnson and American Liberalism.”

From Jackson, Miss., we’re joined by Robert McElvaine, professor of arts & letters and chair of the history department at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. He’s the author of “The Great Depression: America, 1929-1941.”

And from Hanover, N.H., is Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst and senior editor at The Atlantic.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 3, 2016
Geri Taylor, camera in tow, at the Hoover Dam in 2014. Photography had been a sideline for 30 years, but now she could really devote time to it.
Courtesy, New York Times. MICHAEL KIRBY SMITH FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES.

We look at how one women prepares for the full onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

May 3, 2016
In this photo taken Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009, fifteen-year-old Amorette Castillo has her sensor checked before starting a series of physical activities at a University of Southern California lab in Alhambra, Calif. Scientists across the country are playing with miniature gadgets and fitting them on the overweight and obese to get an unbiased glimpse into their exercise and eating habits. The cell phone for gathering data is on her hip. (AP Photo/Kim Johnson Flodin)

Weight loss lessons from the TV show “The Biggest Loser”. A study of the show’s contestants reveals why it’s so hard to keep off the weight we lose.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 2, 2016
ADVANCE FOR MONDAY, MAY 2, 2016 AND THEREAFTER - In this April 19, 2016 photo, Laurie Millan, a para-professional and tutor, works with a student during an after school tutoring session at San Francisco International High School, in San Francisco. While some districts in numerous states have discouraged migrant minors from Central America from enrolling in their schools, the school accommodated its youths by rewriting young-adult novels at a basic level to spark the newcomers' interest in reading.  (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Is grit the secret sauce that drives success? More important than both talent and intellect? We’re talking the power and limits of grit.

 
May 2, 2016
A man walks on the rail tracks of a train station turned into a makeshift camp crowded by migrants and refugees, at the northern Greek border point of Idomeni, Greece, Friday, April 29, 2016. Many thousands of migrants remain at the Greek border with Macedonia, hoping that the border crossing will reopen, allowing them to move north into central Europe. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

A top former US diplomat says refugees and tribalism are pulling Europe apart and that the US needs to get involved- to help Europe by helping refugees.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Devoured: We Are What (And How) We Eat
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

From chicken wings to kale smoothies, we look at what we eat, and how challenging it is to eat well in America.

More »
Comment
 
‘Embedded’: How Violent Gangs Are Terrorizing El Salvador
Thursday, Apr 14, 2016

NPR’s Kelly McEvers on her reporting in El Salvador for the podcast Embedded, and how gang killings brought San Salvador’s bus service to a halt.

More »
Comment
 
That Cheap Dress On Facebook? It Isn't Worth It
Monday, Apr 11, 2016

Know those shockingly cheap clothes you see advertised on Facebook? There’s a catch.

More »
Comment