Americans have been reforming their health care system for more than 75 years, experimenting with treatments, payment methods, and administration. Some of these experiments have worked; others have failed.
The new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed March 23, 2010, by President Barack Obama, is just the latest and perhaps most ambitious attempt to reshuffle America's health care system.
Each generation makes additions, subtractions, divisions, and multiplications to elements of the system, based largely upon expectations, needs, and values. In many ways American health care is more of a process than a system.
Look back over recent years and see an alphabet ...