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Three African American women sit around a desk; two of the women are nurses.

Nurses meeting at the Delta Health Center, a community-controlled clinic in Mound Bayou, MS, 1968

Health care reform has been a contentious political issue in the United States for more than a hundred years. Even after the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, which expanded access to health insurance coverage for millions of people, Americans continue to disagree on whether and how to make quality health care available to all...Continue to Introduction

5 White male miners crouched and standing next to mining equipment underground.

Miners in Chance Mine, possibly in the Coeur d'Alene region of Idaho, ca. 1909

Early in the 20th century, rapid industrialization, new waves of immigration, and growing labor unrest made the health of workers and the poor a matter of national concern...Continue to The Need for Care

African American man (Leonidas Berry) seated and looking at viewer.

Leonidas H. Berry, MD, prominent physician and president of the National Medical Association 1965–66, was a leader of campaigns against racial discrimination by hospitals.

Citizen groups worked with doctors and nurses to find ways to extend medical care to more people...Continue to The Power of Medicine

Large multiracial group of men and women holding signs and marching on a street towards viewer.

Medical Committee for Civil Rights participates in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, 1963

Activists helped push for health programs and called attention to disparities in medical care...Continue to Community Health Action

White female nurse smiles down as she places an oxygen mask on White male patient in bed.

Nurse Diane Jones treats a patient with AIDS at San Francisco General Hospital, 1984

Since the 1960s, social movements have defined health rights as essential to ending the second-class status of marginalized groups...Continue to Identity and Activism

Three protesters linking arms in lobby, wearing shirts that say 'Victim of private health insurance.'

Supporters of a single-payer health system protested at the offices of Aetna, a private health insurance company, New York, 2009

The participation of grassroots groups in battles over health care reform continues in 21st century...Continue to Reform and Reaction