Marine Hospital Service

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

The Marine Hospital Service was an organization of hospitals dedicated to the care of ill and disabled seamen in the U.S. Merchant Marine, U.S. Coast Guard, and others. The Service was created by an act of the 5th Congress and signed into law on 16 July 1798 by President John Adams. The Marine Hospital Service was the point of origin for the Public Health Service.

The government funded the hospitals by a tax on sailors’ monthly wages.

Socialized medicine and mandatory health insurance in 1798.

The merchant seamen were essential to the early economy, and their job was dangerous. Realizing a healthy workforce was essential for our private merchant fleet to engage in foreign trade, the Congress acted. They created “An Act for The Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen”.

There are some differences between then and now. The act did not mandate that sailors obtain any form of private insurance. It was a federal government run health insurance program, a public-option for sailors. The private insurance companies in 1798 hadn’t discovered lobbyists, that would come later.

H/T: Common-Place, Greg Sargent, Forbes.

92 thoughts on “Marine Hospital Service”

  1. Cum hoc ergo propter hoc, Chan.

    Norway has oil revenue – which is past peak by the way.

    It is beside the point as well.

    The reason Norway is financially successful is how they spent their capital surplus, which was on investing which they used the profits from for social infrastructure. Contrast this to how the U.S. under Bush spent our capital surplus. By simply pissing away the money on banker’s bonuses instead of letting failed businesses – which under a capitalist mode of production (retained under democratic socialism) would have been replaced by newer businesses using better models – simply fail along with their miserable and criminal management. Also monies wasted propping up the military-industrial complex and the personal profits of the traitors Bush and Cheney. Oh yeah. Greed is good alright. But only for the greedy. Norway is successful because they don’t let the myopia of greed influence their decision making on what is required to maintain a healthy and competitive society.

    How they got the surplus is irrelevant.

    The bottom line is we had a surplus when Bush took office.

    He stole it to pay for illegal wars his bosses the Saudis wanted and prop up his buddies in the oil business instead of re-investing in America to 1) re-investing the money to build infrastructure (much of which, like light rail, could be used to ween the U.S. off of the dependence upon foreign oil) and 2) encourage the development of alternative energy sources. But because Bush and his cronies were your favorite thing – greedy – they sold out the opportunity for the U.S. to mimic Norway’s financial success so they could line their own pockets.

    Reality called.

    It wants to know why you don’t stay in touch.

    I explained to it where you got your mis-education though and reality understood.

  2. Awwwww.

    You two are so cute when you’re floundering because your arguments are crap!

    And actually, what I gave Tootles was an example of a country that not only has a better standard of living that the U.S., but is just about the only country that has not only weathered the global economic crisis created by people with Chan’s retarded “greed is good” economic ideology, but have managed to prosper and grow while your “pure capitalist” countries are going down the toilet because the top 1% looted their treasuries instead of building their infrastructure. That the Norwegians are democratic socialists and that that just pisses you two clowns off to no end?

    Well that’s just gravy.

  3. Chan:

    They provide you with examples where socialism is “flourishing”. In actuality, what they provide you with is examples of how the vanquished are living at gunpoint without choice.

    They are not free to do anything else: or ELSE!

    The leftists consider economic activity at gunpoint freedom.

    So do burglars.

  4. Chan

    You wrote:

    “Buddha and his gang are the ones that adhere to the mantra of doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

    And they call me retrograde! For them it is the same old Marxism (thievery) and yet they pretend to be “progressive” and progressing.

    They return to slavery which they pretend they hate.

  5. I am sure they are all non-biased and non-ideological. Sure they are.

    That private school education? Is it too late to get your money back?

  6. The only thing not passing muster here is your specious self-serving rationales and your obvious lack of a proper education in just about every area challenged, Chan. Everything I’ve asserted is easily verifiable from non-biased, non-ideological sources. Your assertions based on a flim-flam ideology that’s really just a rationale for greed?

    It speaks for itself.

    Peddle faster.

  7. not a bit, it is yours that does not muster. I am on solid ground as many hundreds of years have shown. You, not so much.

    I see you have taken to using your lips to make an engine sound to make up for the engine which is lacking in your “Indy racer”.

    An apt metaphor for socialism/Marxism, look under the hood and you see a rat on an exercise wheel.

  8. Except I’m not the one making a fool of myself here, Mr. Makes Up Definitions Easily Proven Wrong.

    And inserting premises about the Federal Reserve Bank that aren’t there into my arguments. Unregulated banking activity was what I meant and what I said. The problems with the FRB are another matter – namely that they too are against regulating banks so the “most creative criminals” can keep on doing business as usual.

    Defensive about your indefensible ideology much?

    *vroom vroom*, greed boy.

  9. Buddha:

    how do you think the oil gets out of the ground? Does it magically appear? Or do people have to drill for it using machines and people trained in their use? How do you think the machines come into being? How do you think they get to the rigs? How do the rigs come into being? Who supports the rigs and produces the many different products used when drilling for oil?

    Talk about simplistic, I may be unicycle boy but at least I have a wheel and tire. Your “Indy” racer isnt much good without an engine or tires.

    “…allowed Norway’s economy to grow at 3% last year despite the fund itself taking a 23% hit from the global economic crash (which was created by unregulated largely American based banking activity).”

    I see you didn’t read the article I posted above by De Soto or you would understand that the banks were too heavily regulated and the FED has it’s share of guilt. Central banks are not a good thing.

    I think you need to stop making a fool of yourself, your ignorance in matters economic is showing.

  10. Chan,

    You are one for oversimplification in the name of self-rationalization.

    Norway didn’t spend their oil revenues on social services. They saved it as surplus capital that the state subsequently reinvested. It was this wise investment of savings (the source of the savings is immaterial – the U.S. could operate at surplus levels if not just hemorrhaging money into creating perpetual war) that allowed Norway’s economy to grow at 3% last year despite the fund itself taking a 23% hit from the global economic crash (which was created by unregulated largely American based banking activity).

    Contrast this to what the fascist puppets in Washington do with a budget surplus: use it to fund illegal wars of aggression for the private profits of the oil and military supply industries which strangely enough are directly tied to the Bush and Cheney families. When that money ran out? They started cutting away at services and safety nets critical to long term national security. And to add insult to injury, they just keep pissing money away while the perpetrators of 9/11, Saudi Arabia – business partners of the Bush clan and client of the Cheney clan, get treated with kid gloves.

    The form of democratic socialism can work when the system is corrupted by corporate graft used to buy self-interested officials out and thus keeping them from their Constitutional duties to promote the general welfare of all: not just their corporate campaign contributors. Fascism is capitalism run amok. Democratic socialism is capitalism constrained and harnessed for the common good. Just to show you how specious your arguments against universal health care really are? What is one of the biggest complaints and biggest expense that all industry regardless of market segment have today?

    Health care insurance costs.

    If those costs are constrained by the government running health insurance as a not-for-profit trust benefiting all? It’s not just the individual citizens that benefit by universal coverage. It’s your precious for-profit corporations benefiting from cost reductions too.

    Now peddle away, unicycle boy.

    Find another way to rationalize your greed.

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