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Relentless ReformerJosephine Roche and Progressivism in Twentieth-Century America$
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Robyn Muncy

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691122731

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691122731.001.0001

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Generating a National Debate about Federal Health Policy, 1935–1939

Generating a National Debate about Federal Health Policy, 1935–1939

(p.177) Chapter 11 Generating a National Debate about Federal Health Policy, 1935–1939
Relentless Reformer

Robyn Muncy

Princeton University Press

This chapter details events in Josephine Roche's life from 1935 to 1939. Despite her many other roles, Roche's primary obligation in the New Deal government was oversight of health policy. She fulfilled that obligation in two ways. Within the Treasury Department, she took charge of the Public Health Service at a moment of explosive growth, championing a vastly expanded mandate for the agency and building a more effective public health infrastructure in the states. Outside the Treasury, she spearheaded a campaign to elevate health care to the status of a “basic American right.” In the course of that campaign, Roche patched together a national health plan, which she used to generate a nationwide conversation about the role of the federal government in health care.

Keywords:   Josephine Roche, New Deal, Roosevelt administration, health care policy, public health, Treasury Department, Public Health Service, national health plan, biography

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