Health Reform’s Roots Lay In Conservative Movement: Otto Von BismarckThe Boston Globe reports that as Republicans protest over health care reform, the first "mandatory health insurance was invented by an anti-socialist conservative in Germany during the Laissez-Faire Gilded Age," Otto von Bismarck.
In 1883, von Bismarck required workers to get insurance through private carriers using a payroll tax to pay for it. "The similarities between the Iron Chancellor's vision and the broad outlines of the proposals in Congress - and, indeed, our current employer-based system of health care - offer valuable lessons." Bismarck favored limiting government while providing a safety net for the needy, The Globe reports.
"Bismarck's law mandated coverage only for certain low-income workers. Today, with expanded coverage, Germany wrestles with escalating health care costs - as do we and all industrialized nations" (Barlow, 11/18). This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.