Medicine: Paying the Doctor

Medical costs have been rising faster than any other item on the cost-of-living index, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A patient must now pay 25% more for treatment than in 1950, as compared to an 8% rise in the overall price index. At the same time, benefit payments from health-insurance programs are running a fifth higher this year than last, are expected to go well beyond $2.5 billion. All told, reports the Health Insurance Council, some no million Americans are now covered by hospital insurance−6% more than were covered last year, nine times as many as were covered in...

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