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As physicians begin the new year, they, like most persons who earn a living, ponder the subject of income tax. At this particular time, however, most consideration is given to how much tax is due and very little thought to what it is due for. The American Medical Association's Washington Office has determined, with figures from the Bureau of the Census, that this year the average wage earner in the United States will pay about $38.72 to finance just the federal government's health and medical operations. Even with more persons now employed, this is $4.40 more than last year. If we consider the entire family of the wage earner, it will be paying $54.61 for federal medical services. Perhaps a little philosophical pondering is in order for the average physician to see just how his estimated 1956 federal medical "bill" will be spent.
About one-third of the more than 2.5-billion-dollar
FEDERAL MEDICAL SPENDING. JAMA. 1956;162(18):1625. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970350041012