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They apparently worried that a government-based insurance system would weaken unions by usurping their role in providing social benefits.Their central concern was maintaining union strength, which was understandable in a period before collective bargaining was legally sanctioned.Other developed countries have had some form of social insurance (that later evolved into national insurance) for nearly as long as the has been trying to get it.Some European countries started with compulsory sickness insurance, one of the first systems, for workers beginning in Germany in 1883; other countries including Austria, Hungary, Norway, Britain, Russia, and the Netherlands followed all the way through 1912.During the Progressive Era, President Theodore Roosevelt was in power and although he supported health insurance because he believed that no country could be strong whose people were sick and poor, most of the initiative for reform took place outside of government.Roosevelt’s successors were mostly conservative leaders, who postponed for about twenty years the kind of presidential leadership that might have involved the national government more extensively in the management of social welfare.In a nutshell, the bill limited coverage to the working class and all others that earned less than 00 a year, including dependents.The services of physicians, nurses, and hospitals were included, as was sick pay, maternity benefits, and a death benefit of fifty dollars to pay for funeral expenses. Costs were to be shared between workers, employers, and the state.

Opposition from doctors, labor, insurance companies, and business contributed to the failure of Progressives to achieve compulsory national health insurance.In 1912, they created a committee on social welfare which held its first national conference in 1913.Despite its broad mandate, the committee decided to concentrate on health insurance, drafting a model bill in 1915.What was the doing during this period of the late 1800’s to 1912?The government took no actions to subsidize voluntary funds or make sick insurance compulsory; essentially the federal government left matters to the states and states left them to private and voluntary programs.

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