death benefits through what had become "the largest life insurance company in the world" and which was administered through the Veterans' Bureau, created in 1921. 114
Perhaps not surprisingly the War Risk Insurance plan was drawn up by people with a reform background— Judge Mack of Cook County Juvenile Court and Julia Lathrop of the Children's Bureau, for instance. Moreover, the passage of the act encouraged demands for the extension of social insurance generally. While workmen's compensation laws continued to be enacted at state level, various schemes for health insurance were also under consideration during, and at the end of, the war. However, such proposals were opposed by private insurance companies and the American Medical Association, which described such ideas as "made in Germany" or, after 1918, "made in Russia." 115 Insurance schemes were also victims of the general reaction of 1919 and the conservatism that followed. Rather than government intervention in this area, it was the industrialists who offered protection schemes, or alternatively the individual worker took care of his own—or did without. For most Americans, the best form of insurance was still seen as regular work with a decent wage. For both returning servicemen and war workers it remained to be seen whether they would be able to achieve that goal; for organized labor it remained to be seen if it would maintain its wartime gains; for the often congested centers of war production it remained to be seen whether their problems would be solved or disappear in the postwar era.
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Publication information: Book title: From Progressivism to Prosperity:World War I and American Society. Contributors: Neil A. Wynn - Author. Publisher: Holmes & Meier. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1986. Page number: 124.
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