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December 30, 1939


JAMA. 1939;113(27):2421-2422. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800520046012

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While captious critics have been denouncing the American Medical Association as reactionary and obstructive, its members have been conducting numerous and extensive experiments during the last seven years in search of ways of organizing payments for medical service and adjusting the burden of medical costs to the abilities of varying economic classes. Never have so many, so varied or so significant projects been carried out in any other country. When the burden of medical care for the indigent disrupted the systems of county and township doctors, drained the resources of philanthropic organizations and became too heavy for gratuitous service by physicians to bear, the various state and county medical societies developed almost the only successful plans for efficiently distributing such resources as were available to provide medical care for the indigent.

During the period 1932 to 1938, between 200 and 300 county societies entered into contracts with relief authorities to

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