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The Shadow Welfare State

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Why, in the recent campaigns for universal health care, did organized labor maintain its support of employer-mandated insurance? Did labor's weakened condition prevent it from endorsing national health insurance? Marie Gottschalk demonstrates here that the unions' surprising stance was a consequence of the peculiarly private nature of social policy in the United States. Why, in the recent campaigns for universal health care, did organized labor maintain its support of employer-mandated insurance? Did labor's weakened condition prevent it from endorsing national health insurance? Marie Gottschalk demonstrates here that the unions' surprising stance was a consequence of the peculiarly private nature of social policy in the United States. Her book combines a much-needed account of labor's important role in determining health care policy with a bold and incisive analysis of the American welfare state. Gottschalk stresses that, in the United States, the social welfare system is anchored in the private sector but backed by government policy. As a result, the private sector is a key political battlefield where business, labor, the state, and employees hotly contest matters such as health care. She maintains that the shadow welfare state of job-based benefits shaped the manner in which labor defined its policy interests and strategies. As evidence, Gottschalk examines the influence of the Taft-Hartley health and welfare funds, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (E.R.I.S.A.), and experience-rated health insurance, showing how they constrained labor from supporting universal health care. Labor, Gottschalk asserts, missed an important opportunity to develop a broader progressive agenda. She challenges the movement to establish a position on health care that addresses the growing ranks of Americans without insurance, the restructuring of the U.S. economy, and the political travails of the unions themselves.


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Why, in the recent campaigns for universal health care, did organized labor maintain its support of employer-mandated insurance? Did labor's weakened condition prevent it from endorsing national health insurance? Marie Gottschalk demonstrates here that the unions' surprising stance was a consequence of the peculiarly private nature of social policy in the United States. Why, in the recent campaigns for universal health care, did organized labor maintain its support of employer-mandated insurance? Did labor's weakened condition prevent it from endorsing national health insurance? Marie Gottschalk demonstrates here that the unions' surprising stance was a consequence of the peculiarly private nature of social policy in the United States. Her book combines a much-needed account of labor's important role in determining health care policy with a bold and incisive analysis of the American welfare state. Gottschalk stresses that, in the United States, the social welfare system is anchored in the private sector but backed by government policy. As a result, the private sector is a key political battlefield where business, labor, the state, and employees hotly contest matters such as health care. She maintains that the shadow welfare state of job-based benefits shaped the manner in which labor defined its policy interests and strategies. As evidence, Gottschalk examines the influence of the Taft-Hartley health and welfare funds, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (E.R.I.S.A.), and experience-rated health insurance, showing how they constrained labor from supporting universal health care. Labor, Gottschalk asserts, missed an important opportunity to develop a broader progressive agenda. She challenges the movement to establish a position on health care that addresses the growing ranks of Americans without insurance, the restructuring of the U.S. economy, and the political travails of the unions themselves.

30 review for The Shadow Welfare State

  1. 5 out of 5

    Wesley

    I liked this book. I think the 2 star review was too critical. Gottschalk does an excellent job displaying the connections between labor unions and the failures of the Clinton health care bill. The book isn't astounding, and there are holes. Overall, a defended perspective on the US welfare system from the lens of the unions.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    A good reminder that it is possible for political scientists to write a book about health care, without referring to health. A monotonous but useful summary of decades of political maneuvering (mostly unions being outmaneuvered) around health insurance.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Arnie

  4. 5 out of 5

    david

  5. 4 out of 5

    Camelia

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sara Chang

  8. 4 out of 5

    Taleed

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  10. 4 out of 5

    Apex157x

  11. 5 out of 5

    NO

  12. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ravi

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sean

  15. 4 out of 5

    D. Geoffrey

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  17. 4 out of 5

    Erika

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

  19. 5 out of 5

    Raquel

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nick Martin

  21. 4 out of 5

    Julia

  22. 4 out of 5

    Royce Zobell

  23. 4 out of 5

    Maryanne Salm

  24. 5 out of 5

    Quin Rich

  25. 4 out of 5

    Yvonna Skrinnik

  26. 4 out of 5

    David

  27. 4 out of 5

    Izzy Kates

  28. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Mcnully

  29. 5 out of 5

    Josie

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lucas

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