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Veterans' Policies, Veterans' PoliticsNew Perspectives on Veterans in the Modern United States$
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Stephen R. Ortiz

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813042077

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813042077.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 07 December 2021

The Invention, Stumbling, and Reinvention of the Modern U.S. Veterans Health Care System, 1918–1924

The Invention, Stumbling, and Reinvention of the Modern U.S. Veterans Health Care System, 1918–1924

Chapter:
(p.38) 2 The Invention, Stumbling, and Reinvention of the Modern U.S. Veterans Health Care System, 1918–1924
Source:
Veterans' Policies, Veterans' Politics
Author(s):

Rosemary A. Stevens

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813042077.003.0003

This chapter describes the political controversy accompanying the decision to launch the U.S. Veterans Bureau (now the Department of Veterans Affairs) during the Harding administration in 1921, its implementation problems between August 1921 and March 1923, and its rapid shift to normalization in 1923–24. It seeks to answer the questions of how and why, in the business-oriented Harding administration of 1921, the United States established a huge government organization that developed a system of federal hospitals and health care for veterans. Government reorganization to provide business efficiency was the initial strategy. But charges against the bureau's first director, from mismanagement to corruption, deflected attention from broader questions. Under its second, business-oriented director, the bureau, with its “socialized” veterans’ hospital and health care system, was stabilized as an enduring American institution under the rhetoric of management efficiency.

Keywords:   federal hospitals, U.S. Veterans Bureau, veterans’ health care, socialized medicine, business efficiency, government reorganization

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