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February 10, 1917

Compulsory Health Insurance Unnecessary as a Public Health Measure

JAMA. 1917;LXVIII(6):480. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.04270020144019

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To the Editor:  —In view of the fact that the propaganda for compulsory health insurance is made to rest largely on the assumption, which, however, is quite erroneous, that the health progress of countries under social insurance has been more pronounced or effective than the corresponding health progress of countries which have not established at least compulsory health insurance, such as the United States, Canada and Australia, or any one of the great South American republics, it may interest your readers to know that during the last twenty years the sanitary progress of the cities of New York and Berlin has been as follows:Comparing the period 1888-1892 with the period 1908-1912, since there are no trustworthy data of a later date for the city of Berlin, it appears that the general death rate of New York decreased from 25.8 per thousand to 15.5, or 10.3 per thousand, equivalent to

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