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July 14, 1962

Doctors, Patients, and Health Insurance: Organization and Financing of Medical Care

Author Affiliations

By H. M. Somers and A. R. Somers. Pp. 576. Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C., 1961.

JAMA. 1962;181(2):173-174. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050280103024

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In Doctors, Patients, and Health Insurance, a political scientist, Herman Somers, and his wife give their particular diagnosis and prescription for the organization and financing of medical care. They "believe that the fellowship of scholars owes society something more than the accumulation of facts; it has an obligation to seek and communicate large and usable meanings" (p. xiii).

The 25 chapters separated into 7 parts provide a comprehensive review of the financing and organization of medical care. The massive array of material is organized with unusual imagination and presented skillfully and colorfully. A loose economic framework of supply, demand, and the marketplace coordinates the numerous facets of medical care.

Many broad, controversial areas are discussed such as the supply of physicians, the organization of physicians' services, the role and function of the hospital and other facilities, the adequacy of voluntary health insurance, accessibility of medical care, interpretation of the rise

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