The Purpose Of The Hill-Burton Act

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In the early 20th century the U.S. was facing a healthcare crisis. The country was ravaged by the great depression of the 1930’s, and broken by a six year world war. Most of the hospitals in the U.S. were crumbling and becoming obsolete, and large portions of the nation’s counties were without access to healthcare. During this time President Harry Truman wanted to go the way of other industrialized nations and offer universal health coverage for the American people. At the time it was deemed too costly, so legislators were looking for other options to improve our lagging system, and as the country started to heal, the deplorable conditions of our healthcare system and its lack of beds was becoming obvious and unavoidable. In 1946 the U.S. …show more content…
It was a national program designed to increase access to healthcare regardless of race, color, creed, gender, or a person’s ability to pay (MacNay & Merry, 1994). “The Hill-Burton Act authorized Federal grants, loans and loan guarantees to assist states and communities in constructing hospitals and public health centers” (Almond, Currie, & Simeonova, 2011, p. 189). The purpose of the Hill-Burton Act was to overcome the economic and geographic barriers to healthcare that were prominent throughout the U.S. Carla Smith, Indiana University School of Law, …show more content…
12) The Hill-Burton Act was a revolutionary piece of legislation during its time. The government recognized the need for improvements in the healthcare system and invested a substantial amount of resources to fulfill the needs of the citizens. The Hill-Burton Act not only improved access to care, it set standards for the safe and effective delivery of healthcare.
The greatest investment of funds by the U.S. government was during a prosperous time in our history. The economy was stable and the U.S. was making a name for itself as a leader in medicine and healthcare delivery. But there has been much speculation as to whether or not the increase in “beds” across the U.S. was excessive, creating waste and an inefficient system. The medical advancements of the time cannot be questioned, but the excessive buildup of facilities can. The economic downturn of the 1970’s and 1980’s accentuated this fact.
In 1946, President Truman had a vision of universal healthcare for the citizens of the U.S. He viewed healthcare as a right of being an American citizen not a privilege. This was not the last time that the access to, and the quality of healthcare was the topic of discussion in the

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