Medicine: Debate Over National Health Insurance

Americans pay more for medical care than any other people—$60.3 billion in 1969, nearly 500% more than they spent in 1950. Yet the dividends from this investment are depressingly meager. The U.S. trails twelve other countries in infant mortality rates; women live longer in ten countries and men in 17. One of every 50 Americans has no access to a doctor under any circumstances.

Even so, U.S. doctors' fees are rising twice as fast as consumer prices; hospital costs are soaring five times faster. Neither public nor nonprofit private insurance is adequate to meet present or projected health requirements. In 1968, despite...

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