The Wages of Sickness: The Politics of Health Insurance in Progressive America / Edition 1

The Wages of Sickness: The Politics of Health Insurance in Progressive America / Edition 1

by Beatrix Hoffman
     
 

ISBN-10: 0807849022

ISBN-13: 9780807849026

Pub. Date: 01/22/2001

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press

The Clinton administration's failed health care reform was not the first attempt to establish government-sponsored medical coverage in the United States. From 1915 to 1920, Progressive reformers led a spirited but ultimately unsuccessful crusade for compulsory health insurance in New York State. Beatrix Hoffman argues that this first health insurance campaign was a

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Overview

The Clinton administration's failed health care reform was not the first attempt to establish government-sponsored medical coverage in the United States. From 1915 to 1920, Progressive reformers led a spirited but ultimately unsuccessful crusade for compulsory health insurance in New York State. Beatrix Hoffman argues that this first health insurance campaign was a crucial moment in the creation of the American welfare state and health care system. Its defeat, she says, gave rise to an uneven and inegalitarian system of medical coverage and helped shape the limits of American social policy for the rest of the century.

Hoffman examines each of the major combatants in the battle over compulsory health insurance. While physicians, employers, the insurance industry, and conservative politicians forged a uniquely powerful coalition in opposition to health insurance proposals, she shows, reformers' potential allies within women's organizations and the labor movement were bitterly divided. Against the backdrop of World War I and the Red Scare, opponents of reform denounced government-sponsored health insurance as "un-American" and, in the process, helped fashion a political culture that resists proposals for universal health care and a comprehensive welfare state even today.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807849026
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
01/22/2001
Series:
Studies in Social Medicine Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
280
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.66(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction1
1Patchwork Protection: The Specter of Sickness and Poverty6
2Crafting a Solution to the Sickness Problem: The American Association for Labor Legislation24
3A Dose of Prussianism: European Origins and American Identities45
4The Worst Insult to the Greatest Profession: Medical Practitioners and Health Insurance68
5Moneyed Interests: Employers and Insurance Companies against Compulsory Health Insurance92
6The House of Labor Divided115
7Insuring Maternity: Women's Politics and the Campaign for Health Insurance137
8The Politics of Defeat163
Epilogue181
Notes189
Bibliography233
Index247

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