Health Insurance Before the Welfare State
The Destruction of Self-Help by State Intervention
By Pavel Chalupníček, Luká Dvořák
This article appeared in the Winter 2008/09 issue of The Independent Review.
Fraternal organizations and friendly societies provided health insurance for hundreds of thousands of Americans and Britons before the surge of the welfare state. Their rapid disappearance underscores the fragility of voluntary institutions when challenged by government power.
Pavel Chalupníček is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Institutional Economics at the University of Economics in Prague.