The Wages of Sickness: The Politics of Health Insurance in Progressive America

By Beatrix Hoffman | Go to book overview

7

Insuring Maternity
WOMEN'S POLITICS AND
THE CAMPAIGN FOR
HEALTH INSURANCE

The New York compulsory health insurance bill was one of the rare proposals before the New Deal that aspired to assist male breadwinners and to offer protection for mothers. Unlike protective labor legislation and other reforms aimed at women only, the American Association for Labor Legislation's model bill for health insurance covered workers of both sexes. And the legislation was unique in that it entitled women to protection both as workers and as mothers. Since insured women could continue receiving part of their wages when they left work to give birth, the maternity benefits of the health insurance bill acknowledged women's work outside the home and the importance of their income to the household. Many women supported the health insurance plan because of its protections for mothers, but some also thought that it would improve the status of women as workers. By 1919 New York's powerful women's reform movement adopted health insurance as part of its legislative campaign for the protection of working women.

Despite the vigor and visibility of this women's coalition, the campaign for health insurance divided women nearly as much as it unified them. Some women reformers angrily rejected the central premise of maternity benefits— that women could be both mothers and workers at the same time. In the name of protecting both motherhood and the wages of single women, prominent reformer Florence Kelley persuaded the AALL to eliminate maternity benefits from its 1916 bill. This unleashed a storm of debate over maternity benefits that ended in their restoration to the bill a year later. Then, in 1919, activist women tried to use the new power of the vote to win a slate of protective labor reforms, including the AALL's health insurance program. They nearly succeeded,

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Wages of Sickness: The Politics of Health Insurance in Progressive America
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 261

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.