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May 18, 1963

Compulsory Health Insurance in Relation to Democratic Ideals

Author Affiliations

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

JAMA. 1963;184(7):571-574. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.73700200001017

THE GREAT WORLD ISSUE of our time is the struggle between communism and democracy, between a political system that reposes all authority and power in the state, with denial of individual freedom and liberty, and a philosophy founded upon the freedom, liberty, and dignity of the individual.

The great national issue of our time is the struggle between the claims of the welfare state and the claims of private enterprise. The solution of this issue must be sought by adhering to the ideals and tenets of democracy. In solving the problem, one must be mindful of an inherent danger to democracy—the tyranny of the majority. Lincoln's famous phrase, "government of the people, by the people, for the people," presumes that the majority will act in the best interests of the nation. The majority may, however, desire to oppress a minority, and precautions are needed as much against this form

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