Timeline of National Single-Payer Legislation

The long history of efforts to win national healthcare in the United States is, in the words of one scholar, “a drama in too many acts.” Below is a timeline of national health reform efforts in Congress, which links to hundreds of pages of legislation, Congressional analysis, and public hearings. This timeline encompasses the complete transformation of medical care in the United States, the abolition of Jim Crow in the South, and the eventual birth of a social movement for single-payer healthcare.

You can also view our sortable list of national legislation, a graph of growing sponsorship levels of single-payer legislation since the 1970s, a listing of Congressional hearings on single-payer in the 1940s and 1970s, and a listing of economic impact studies of single-payer at the state and the national levels.


President Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act

Healthcare Excluded from the Social Security Act