Medicine: Blue Cross

The fastest-growing experiment in U.S. social medicine is the Blue Cross, a nationwide organization with the laudable purpose of helping members meet hospital bills in advance. Blue Cross operates through 3,500 hospitals in 44 states,* has more than 20,000,000 members.

Now Blue Cross has reached a milestone: more than half of Rhode Island's population is on its roster, the first state to achieve that mark. Eventually, Blue Cross hopes to have the whole U.S. enrolled.

Growing Pains. This phenomenal growth has all been within the last decade. It began one day in the late '20s...