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April 15, 1983

Compulsory Health Insurance: The Continuing American Debate

Author Affiliations

University of Chicago University of Wisconsin-Madison

JAMA. 1983;249(15):2094. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330390086045

There is persistent interest among proponents of some form of universal health insurance under government auspices in this country as to why the United States is the only remaining large industrial nation without such insurance. The question of "why" is freighted with the implication that the United States is, thus, an anomaly. Maybe so, but there is more than one road to universality than a national system, and the United States may well back into universality according to its own genius, predilections, and ignorance, as expressed in this book by Poen writing about the Truman era and Cohen, former secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and architect of the Medicare Act, in a short "Postscript for the Future," where he predicts that at some time "the cause of national health insurance will reappear."

The compilation of essays is largely a result of papers given at a symposium

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