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March 24, 1917

Why I Favor Compulsory Health Insurance

JAMA. 1917;LXVIII(12):930. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.04270030262024

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To the Editor:  —I favor compulsory health insurance:1. Because I believe that medical science and art, the creation of generations of effort and experience, cannot rightfully be used for the exclusive benefit of the few.2. Because, having an instinctive desire to see fair play, I cannot be indifferent to a public measure which aims to protect the bodies of children from disease, just as our public school system seeks to protect their minds from premature arrest and decay.3. Because I have learned from personal contact with thousands of hospital patients, and through investigations carried on in the homes of such patients by district nurses, that free hospital care, without other aid, only partially relieves the distressing situation which arises in the home of a worker whose earning power ceases when he is stricken with disease.4. Because a large proportion of the industrial workers of the community

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