Monday, December 28, 2020

the last book I ever read (A Promised Land by Barack Obama, excerpt nineteen)

from A Promised Land by Barack Obama:

After FDR imposed a nationwide wage freeze meant to stem inflation during World War II, many companies began offering private health insurance and pension benefits as a way to compete for the limited number of workers not deployed overseas. Once the war ended, this employer-based system continued, in no small part because labor unions liked the arrangement, since it enabled them to use the more generous benefit packages negotiated under collective bargaining agreements as a selling point to recruit new members. The downside was that it left those unions unmotivated to push for government-sponsored health programs that might help everybody else. Harry Truman proposed a national healthcare system twice, once in 1945 and again as part of his Fair Deal package in 1949, but his appeal for public support was no match for the well-financed PR efforts of the American Medical Association and other industry lobbyists. Opponents didn’t just kill Truman’s effort. They convinced a large swath of the public that “socialized medicine” would lead to rationing, the loss of your family doctor, and the freedoms Americans hold so dear.

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