Medicine: Catalyst for Health

If the entire U.S. were as provident as Rhode Island, some 91 million Americans would have the security of prepaid hospital bills. In Rhode Island, 65% of the population is enrolled in the Blue Cross (total for the U.S.: about 20%).

The world's two biggest voluntary plans for prepaying hospital and doctors' bills have grown so fast that they are unwieldy. The Blue Cross (which takes care of hospital bills) has 85 locally organized corporations in 47 states*; the newer Blue Shield (for doctors' bills) has 48 corporations in 29 states. Last week, at...

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