Again, in 1950 the Consumers' Price Index, compiled by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, was higher than the index of the prices of medical care items. The Consumers' Price Index, which measures monthly the changes since 1935-1939 in the prices of fixed quantities of goods and services normally purchased by moderate-income families in large cities, stood at 171.9 (adjusted); the index of medical care and drugs, a small part of the Consumers' Price Index, was 147.9 (unadjusted). The base period 1935-1939 equals 100.
According to these indexes, which are considered our best general measure of the purchasing power of the consumer's dollar, the price of medical care has risen 48% since 1935-1939 while the general cost of living has risen 72%. Stated another way, a dollar in the base period could buy a dollar's worth of medical care or a dollar's worth of all the goods and services
Dickinson FG. MEDICAL CARE PRICES AND THE COST OF LIVING. JAMA. 1951;147(3):258–259. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.73670200014012