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November 23, 1957


Author Affiliations

New Rochelle, N. Y.

Director of Information and Research, Health Insurance Association of America.

JAMA. 1957;165(12):1578-1586. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.72980300019015b

In the fourth act of "Julius Caesar," Shakespeare gives to Brutus these lines to speak:

There is a tide in the affairs of men Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat; And we must take the current when it serves, Or lose our ventures.

There are perhaps no lines from all literature which could more aptly describe the challenge which faces the institution of private health insurance today than these.

Before entering upon a discussion of major medical expense insurance, it might be well to examine briefly the socio-politico-economic climate in which we live today, the rapid evolution proceeding in the field of medical care, and some of the more recent past in the field of accident and health insurance. It is submitted that such