The Wages of Sickness


The Wages of Sickness: The Politics of Health Insurance in Progressive America, available from UNC Press and Better yet, order from your independent bookstore.

From 1915 to 1920, Progressive reformers led a spirited but ultimately unsuccessful crusade for compulsory health insurance in New York State. Beatrix Hoffman examines each of the major combatants in the battle over compulsory health insurance. 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.

“Tightly argued and well crafted. . . . This is an excellent book that should interest historians of public health, business, labor, women, and public policy.”Journal of American History.

Read a review of the book on the Economic History Association website.