Employer-based health insurance in the United States from 1920-present: The fall of an empire
Rebecca B Lunstroth
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The United States is the only industrialized nation that relies almost exclusively on private employers to fund health care. As this thesis will set out to demonstrate, the ability of private employers to fund this burden has been slowly eroding to the point that the system is on the brink of collapse. Without viable alternatives in place our health-care system will begin to fail the people who most rely on it: wage earners who work for private companies. How did we get to this point? Historically, the establishment of employer-based health insurance evolved largely outside the political arena, and the federal government’s involvement was initially relegated to sustaining the system - not fixing it. Thus, presidential administrations that attempted to change how health care was funded have been unsuccessful in their campaigns. The reasons for these failures will be explored in the context of recommending solutions that acknowledge the malfunctions in the current system, as well as the foundation of that very system which has kept employer-based health insurance the backbone of the health-care industry of America.