Health Policy

Dead on Arrival: The Politics of Health Care in by Colin Gordon

By Colin Gordon

Why, on my own between business democracies, does the us no longer have nationwide medical health insurance? whereas many books have addressed this query, lifeless on Arrival is the 1st to take action in response to unique archival learn for the entire sweep of the 20 th century. Drawing on quite a lot of political, reform, company, and hard work documents, Colin Gordon strains a fancy and interwoven tale of political failure and personal reaction. He examines, in flip, the emergence of personal, work-based advantages; the uniquely American pursuit of "social insurance"; the effect of race and gender at the wellbeing and fitness care debate; and the continued disagreement among reformers and strong fiscal and wellbeing and fitness interests.Dead on Arrival stands on my own in accounting for the failure of nationwide or common healthiness coverage from the early 20th century to the current. As importantly, it additionally indicates how numerous pursuits (doctors, hospitals, sufferers, staff, employers, hard work unions, clinical reformers, and political events) faced the query of well-being care--as a personal accountability, as a job-based gain, as a political legal responsibility, and as a basic right.Using wellbeing and fitness care as a window onto the common sense of yank politics and American social provision, Gordon either deepens and informs the modern debate. Fluidly written and deftly argued, lifeless on Arrival is therefore not just a compelling historical past of the overall healthiness care obstacle yet a desirable exploration of the country's political financial system and political tradition via "the American century," of the position of personal pursuits and personal merits within the shaping of social coverage, and, eventually, of the methods the yankee welfare kingdom empowers but additionally imprisons its electorate.

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Extra info for Dead on Arrival: The Politics of Health Care in Twentieth-Century America (Politics and Society in Twentieth Century America)

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8 The idea of national health insurance resurfaced during the 1934–35 debate over Social Security. ” For the CES, the logic of national health insurance was unassailable. 10 The CES proposed combining wage-loss and maternity benefits with a separate system of service benefits—all to be financed by a combination of payroll taxes and general revenues. This was a timid step for a nation which, as one reformer noted, boasted 1934 appropriations of under Means for the Payment of Medical Care” (Nov. 1930), Box J8:6, Walton Hamilton Papers, Rare Books and Manuscripts, Tarlton Law Library, University of Texas, Austin, Tex.

1970); CES, “Risks to Economic Security Arising out of Ill Health,” Box 2, CES Records. 10 “Preliminary Draft Abstract of a Program for Social Insurance against Illness” (1934), Box 2, CES Records; Medical Advisory Board [CES], Minutes of Meetings (29 Jan. 1935), p. 119, Box 67, Witte Papers; “Abstract of a Program for Social Insurance against Illness” (1935), pp. 83–85, Box 67, Witte Papers; CES, “Interim Report for Consideration at Meetings” (Jan. 1935), Box 5, CES Records. 11 But the CES retreated and ultimately proposed little more than scattered public health spending.

5 Not surprisingly, there remained a close correlation—measured by per capita doctor’s visits, hospitalization, immunization, or any of the conventional mortality indices—between income and access to health. In spite of sliding-scale fees and an oft-cited tradition of charity care, nearly one-half of those who earned less than $2,000 a year received no care of any kind. 6 The wage and productivity losses cited by the AALL and others increasingly paled beside the rising costs of care—prompting reformers and academics to put together a Committee on the Costs of Medical Care (CCMC) to study the problem.

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