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June 15, 1957


JAMA. 1957;164(7):770. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980070052012

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In 1956, the 84th Congress enacted Public Law 880 to provide additional federal funds on a matching basis to enlarge, or to improve on, medical care for public assistance recipients. There are only four categories of public assistance in which the federal government financially participates and which are affected by the new legislation. These categories are known as Old Age Assistance, Aid to the Blind, Aid to Dependent Children, and Aid to the Totally and Permanently Disabled. There are other indigent persons not eligible for these four categories, and they are usually grouped under some form of "general assistance," their care being financed entirely by local, or local and state, funds.

Physicians actually supplying the medical services to patients receiving some form of public assistance should fully understand the adequacy, as well as the limitations, of such indigent care in their localities. The private practitioner, as an individual, as well

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