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September 4, 1937

Public Medical Services: A Survey of Tax-Supported Medical Care in the United States

JAMA. 1937;109(10):815. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780360063025

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The subject of medical services supported by taxation is now receiving considerable attention. As the author indicates, such services developed out of the attempt to combat poverty in contrast to public health work, which had its origin in the endeavor to control pestilence.

Part I is a review of the kind and extent of public medical services. Four major types are discussed: 1. General medical care as a governmental responsibility for dependent persons (indigents and near-indigents). 2. Governmental hospital care for dependent and other persons (general and acute diseases, mental and tuberculous patients, and tax supported care in nongovernmental hospitals and clinics). 3. Medical services for special groups (soldiers, sailors, marines, veterans, Indians, prison inmates and college students) and for special rural areas. 4. Medical care for dependent and other persons afflicted with diseases or conditions bearing a public health interest (communicable diseases and other than communicable diseases, such as

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