The NY Times has this great interactive time line about the history of Health Care Reform attempts. It's really worth clicking over and seeing it for yourselves:
A History of Overhauling Health Care
Almost a century, presidents and members of Congress have tried and failed to provide universal health benefits to Americans. On March 23, 2010, after a year of epic debate between Republicans and Democrats, President Obama signed legislation into law that will remake the nation’s health care system.