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. So global warming didnt work for you? Now it is on to a shortage of potable water? I was wondering when that would start to break out into the consciousness of the left.

    Lets see, the environment, the children, global warming and now water to get the masses in an uproar so they revolt and usher in a new era of peace, love and universal brotherhood.

    There is no shortage of potable water, we have an entire ocean from which to draw and the technology to remove the salt. Further more there is ice which will melt from global warming, so no worries.

    I guess Bdaman is going to have to bone up on another subject.

  2. Bob,

    I’m for not putting anything in water not required to make it potable. Because the more crap you put in water? The more stuff you have to put in it to make it potable. The end of oil? Meh. People should be more concerned about the end of fresh water. We’ll live a while with a broken sky, but a broken hydrosphere is game over.

  3. Buddha,

    I used to think that was hysterical; but google/news search the topic and you’ll see there’s a hot debate as to reducing or removing it entirely from the water supply.


    A little chlorine I can abide; even if I can smell it from the tap. But why push the fluoride? Wouldn’t it be nice to buy water sans chemical suggestion? Why can’t we just by clean pure water?

    And it’s that kind of thinking that makes me wonder if the joke in Dr. Strangelove is actually funny anymore.

  4. Bob,

    Honestly, I’ve never had a problem with fluoride. That was a mainly a joke. If I remember, you have to get a pretty high parts per million for it to be an issue.

    Chlorine’s the real problem. Luckily that doesn’t matter much if you just boil the brew-water first.

    Charcoal filters do see a lot of use from home-brewers though.

  5. Gyges,

    For the longest time I thought concern about fluoride was a joke, e.g. Dr. Strangelove. But the more you read up on the recent research findings … and all the warnings regarding its use, even with simple tooth paste, and you gotta be thinking ‘maybe the rest of the world has come to the correct conclusion by ceasing such water treatment?’

    When you brew, do you use a water filter to remove the fluoride?

  6. Bob,

    Tell me about it, throws a big monkey wrench in the brewing process sometimes.

  7. Personally I have a problem with the government putting fluoride in our drinking water.

  8. Chan,

    When, but more like if, you ever get your common sense returned to you?

    Be sure to ask for your sense of humor back as well.

    Humorless people suck.

    But if you’ve proven anything – and in fact it may be the only thing you’ve ever proven posting here – it is that you do indeed suck.

  9. Jesus didn’t expect others to pay for Lazarus, he [Jesus] did it out of the goodness of his spirit. He wasn’t forced to pay nor did he force others to pay for the resurrection of Lazarus.

    Show me where it says that Jesus forced Peter and Paul to pay for Lazarus?

    LMAO now.

  10. No, Chan. She’s not. Because 1) “Marxists” and “socialists” are not the same thing no matter how many times you pimp out that false equivalence and 2) Democrats are just like Republicans – they are by in large fascists taking their orders from corporate campaign contributors. The only difference is which corporations own whom. If they weren’t?

    Bush and Cheney would be in prison right now for their treason and Obama would have been impeached for even suggesting that the President can order the assassination of American citizens without due process.

    You partisan nitwits are all the same.


  11. BIL said:

    “BONUS QUESTIONS: Would Jesus have denied Lazarus resurrection if Lazarus hadn’t been able to pay? Would he have healed the lepers and the blind if they weren’t willing to drive themselves into greater poverty to pay for his services?”

    LMAO – sorry, I couldn’t help myself

  12. I find it amusing that you seem to think I’m a Democrat or a Republican, Tootles. Considering I attack both parties and their corporate masters on a regular basis and have called the actions of both Republican and Democratic Presidents unconstitutional. But you? Partisan? Uh, considering that just about everything that comes out of your mouth is some version of “I eschew the greedy mentality of Marxists (i.e Democrats)”?

    Who would ever get the idea you’re a propaganda spewing partisan hack?

    Other than people paying attention.

    Did it ever occur to you that my reading of the Constitution is the same for both parties because it is correct? That I didn’t sleep through Con Law in law school unlike Justice Scalia? And that the other lawyers here agree with me more often than not for that very reason?

    No? I suppose not. That would require you to think and not simply regurgitate propaganda.

    And I still have only one word for you.


  13. He wont, that is just the type of guy he is. Like a pit bull on a toddler, no remorse.

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