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This year a large number of private practitioners, for the first time, will be confronting many thousands of men and women in a doctor-patient relationship arranged by Uncle Sam. They will not be forced on one another, but it will be a new experience on a mass scale.
This is "Medicare"—a new federal program covering the bulk of medical, surgical, and hospital needs for dependents of U. S. uniformed forces. Benefiting under the 65-million-dollar-a-year project are the wives and children of Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, commissioned U. S. Public Health Service, and commissioned Coast and Geodetic Survey personnel.
Nearly 1 million of these dependents had been without government-subsidized medical care because military hospitals were not available to them. Now they can be treated either at federal facilities or ( with limitations ) through private sources. Actually, the government has been administering to the families of its uniformed forces since
MORALE AND MEDICARE. JAMA. 1957;163(2):119. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02970370033012