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January 7, 1950

The Costs of Health Insurance

JAMA. 1950;142(1):68. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910190070023

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This book constitutes a study of the economic aspects of national health insurance by an economist who is credited with some renown in his field but who takes the liberty of showing only one side of the picture.

The author uses facts and figures generously, but usually to serve his own purpose, and he ignores any and all items which might lead to doubtful or negative impressions of his own ideas. The author considers several cost estimates of health insurance and concludes that the most reliable figures available are those of the Bureau of Research and Statistics of the Social Security Administration. These and other government figures provide the basis of his study.

From the standpoint of cost in terms of money, the author states that the proposed program amounts to a redistribution of the burden of existing cost, and only additional medical service would give rise to additional cost.

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