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October 5, 1957


JAMA. 1957;165(5):600-602. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980230170011

INCE medical care and those who deliver it are integral parts of the American economy, it is well to take stock of the position of medical care in the current inflationary spiral. This period of inflation started in 1940 and continued through and after World War II, through the Korean war, and down to the present time with only minor interruptions. Five historical comparisons reveal the relative degree of inflation in the medical care sector: (1) commodity versus service price indexes, (2) medical care indexes versus the entire Consumer Price Index, ( 3 ) changes in the absolute and relative amounts of personal consumption expenditures for medical care, (4) changes in the percentages of one week's wages required to purchase a fixed amount of medical care, and ( 5 ) comparisons of the rate of increase in the average level of incomes of physicians with those for all gainfully employed persons.

During World War