Medicine: Ailing Health Plan

Britain's womb-to-tomb National Health Service is in the red again. Last week Chancellor of the Exchequer Derick Heath-coat-Amory gave Commons the bad news: individual contributions will be upped, on July i, as much as 37%.

Before the N.H.S. was launched in 1948, optimists estimated that it would cost $490 million a year; of this, $355 million would come from general tax funds, the balance from individual contributions of up to about 20¢ a week. But the estimates proved woefully low.

Total costs have rocketed to an estimated $2 billion for the next fiscal year. To raise even one-fifth of this whopping bill (four-fifths...

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