One of my grandfathers (now deceased) used to be a member of of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, one of many such organizations that still dot the land, especially in small towns. I know his lodge to be a place where he would go to smoke, drink, bowl a few frames and talk with his buddies. I never knew about lodge medicine, a practice that is discussed in this short essay published by the Foundation for Economic Education. Lodge medicine was likely past its prime during his day (he was, after all, a member of a trades union).

I’m not sure that such an approach would be desirable today, but it’s interesting to note that its demise was due in part to anti-competitive (rent-seeking) behavior by doctors. It was later supplanted by workplace-centered insurance, which in turn grew due to the strong influence of the federal income tax code.

Cross-posted from State House Call.

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