Paul O'Rourke wrote an article a year ago about a 1798 law for sick and disabled seaman. The Federal government passed the law which forced ship owners to collect out of seaman's salaries and give to tax collectors monies which were to go to hospitals and for caring for these seaman when they get sick or disabled. The article piqued my interest, so I did some more research. Here is the text of the statute.
Some interesting things. Seems like Representative Sewall from Massachusetts didn't like the idea because everyone in Massachusetts already paid into a public health insurance program that covered everyone, including seaman:
Seems like this sort of accusation never goes away: