The Nation: Operation Camp-Out

When Mrs. Ruth Egan of Salt Lake City first checked into the Latter-day Saints Hospital, she hardly had time to worry about costs. In the seventh month of pregnancy, she had suddenly begun to hemorrhage severely. But after eight days of care, her bill ran up to $600. Worse, her doctor strongly recommended complete bed rest for an additional five weeks. At an estimated $75 a day, that prospect proved too much for Husband Norman Egan, 36, a self-employed building contractor whose medical insurance covered only $15 of the per diem costs.

Seizing the initiative, Egan drove the family camper into the...

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