New Deal Liberalism: Health and Welfare of People

The New Deal Liberalism succeeded in the sectors of health and welfare of people by protecting the civil rights and rights of minorities. For example, Lyndon Johnson, who had succeeded President Kennedy, triumphed in bringing forth the Great Society. President Johnson flooded Congress with bills that improved the situation of black, Native American, Hispanic, and majorly other vulnerable social groups. During his administration, “a $10 billion tax-reduction bill” was passed as a sort of memorial to Kennedy, “which produced a surge in capital investment and personal consumption.”

The philosophy was inspired by the belief that injustice could be ended if individuals embraced democratic capitalism and an expanded state built upon the premises of justice and social well-being. President Kennedy referred to The Great Society as the apex of liberalism in American history because it marked the beginning of the US’s spiritual and economic well-being. While overall, the Great Society program marked a general improvement in the well-being of the nation, leaving some areas still in need to address.

In healthcare, The Great Society succeeded in implementing universal healthcare for the poor and the less privileged in society. For example, the aged and the indigent were subject to free health access across the US. Kennedy was committed to providing health coverage to the underprivileged in the US so as to achieve a better health record in the future. He established many healthcare coverage plans for the poor and aged. He launched a bold effort to provide for the aged known as Kennedy-care.

This plan was later named the Medicare act – which covered the expenses of health insurance for “the aged under social security.” Medicare came with a lot of conflicts surrounding the legitimacy of the plan. Another aspect of it was Medicaid, a health plan for the percentage of the population under the poverty line. By 1975, “the two programs would be serving 47 million people and account for a quarter of the nation’s healthcare expenditures”, which marked a major improvement in the medical sphere. President Johnson, JFK’s successor, addressed any issues arising with the health care plans and ensured that they were committed to their initial goal. This period was described as one of the best in American history in terms of health access.

In the 1960s, the African American revolution threatened to bring apart The New Deal Liberalism. The period saw a struggle for racial equality in the US, with civil leaders pleading with President Kennedy to intervene. Numerous attempts of the prominent black leader, namely Martin Luther King, were aimed specifically at drawing mass attention to the instances of brutalities from the police. Although in the late 60s, the majority of members of black resistance viewed the methods of MLK as outdated, they felt that the times demanded a more radical solution – so their motto became “Black Power.” This factor, among others, contributed immensely to the disruption of New Deal Liberalism and the installment of the New Right.

Additionally, the coming apart of 1960 was inspired by major student demonstrations in the US and beyond. The demonstrations shook the governments of Japan, Korea, and Turkey as well. Most American students were more inclined to follow a conventional path joining major fraternities and sororities while also majoring in subjects that would enable them to pursue a job in the future. However, the youth that is now associated with the radical voice of the 60s did not want to go down the conventional path. Starting out as “a tiny minority of youth,” the young activists of 1960 eventually gained “the lion’s share” of attention and started supporting the Civil Rights Movement. They also organized into political groups, such as Student for a Democratic Society. In 1964, student activists such as Mario Savio staged a demonstration in protest of the funds that were being channeled to the Vietnam War at the expense of student support.

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