This book is a comparative study of World War II's impact on the health insurance systems of Japan and the United States. Takakazu Yamagishi argues that the main reason Japan emerged from the war with a public health insurance system, and the United States with a predominantly private health insurance system, was that the two countries experienced the war in different ways. Both countries began the war with largely unformed health insurance systems, sought to strengthen their war-making capabilities by expanding health care, and used war conditions to legitimize greater state intervention in public welfare. But in Japan, wartime mobilization was more rapid and more penetrating, and its duration more uncertain, than in the case of the United States. Consequently, the Japanese government undertook more radical changes in its health insurance system than the United States did, employing war-related justifications to promote the radical shift to near-universal public health insurance....

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