Medicine: Health Insurance

President Eisenhower's health message to Congress last week highlighted a remarkable fact: more than 100 million Americans are now enrolled in voluntary health-insurance plans. Less than 25 years ago most Americans had virtually no financial protection against illness. Today they have a large part of their hospital and surgical bills paid for them.

The most popular plans, Blue Cross and shield, provide about 45% of the coverage. General insurance companies account for 49%, and independent plans e.g. in business firms, colleges, take care of the rest. Last year Blue Cross and Blue Shield alone paid out more than '$1.25 billion in...

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