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June 13, 1977

An Incentive Plan for National Health Insurance: Bringing the Consumer Into the Picture

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Middlesex General Hospital, New Brunswick, NJ, and Rutgers Medical School of the College of Medicine and Dentistry, New Brunswick, NJ.

JAMA. 1977;237(24):2623-2624. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270510045020

THERE have been many health insurance and provision plans proposed for adoption on a national basis. Firsthand evaluations also abound for health programs already in effect in other countries. Analyses of these range from the hypercritical to those that extol the virtues of the particular plan under discussion. All investigators, whether on one side of the question or the other, agree that either the adoption of universal insurance coverage or other more drastic implementation of the universal "right to health care" would bring with it an increase in use of the health system. This would exaggerate or create a shortage in personnel and facilities, while at the same time increasing the national health budget. Medical care, especially modern medical care, employing the latest diagnostic and therapeutic technics, gets more expensive every day. A ten-cent warfarin sodium tablet calls for a five-dollar laboratory test for its controlled administration. The research costs