What was the doing during this period of the late 1800’s to 1912?
The government took no actions to subsidize voluntary funds or make sick insurance compulsory; essentially the federal government left matters to the states and states left them to private and voluntary programs.
So for a very long time, other countries have had some form of universal health care or at least the beginnings of it.
But because the reformer health insurance plans also covered funeral expenses, there was a big conflict.
Reformers felt that by covering death benefits, they could finance much of the health insurance costs from the money wasted by commercial insurance policies who had to have an army of insurance agents to market and collect on these policies.
The commercial insurance industry also opposed the reformers’ efforts in the early 20th century.
There was great fear among the working class of what they called a “pauper’s burial,” so the backbone of insurance business was policies for working class families that paid death benefits and covered funeral expenses.
The primary reason for the emergence of these programs in Europe was income stabilization and protection against the wage loss of sickness rather than payment for medical expenses, which came later.