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February 14, 1966


JAMA. 1966;195(7):21-23. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100070009002

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Health Care Costs.—  Americans spent $36.8 billion in 1964 for health care, almost tripling the $12.9 billion spent in 1950, the government reported. Per capita expenditures more than doubled in the 15-year period, rising from $84 to $191 per person.A Social Security Administration report on national health expenditures for 1950 through 1964 shows not only substantial increases in expenditures, but changes in the methods of financing and marked shifts in the purpose of the expenditures. Consumer payments in 1964, either directly or through insurance, financed 68% of the expenditures: government—federal, state, and local—provided 26%, and the balance came from philanthropic and other sources.More than 90% of the 1964 expenditures were for health services and supplies, including all expenditures for personal health care and community health services. The balance was spent for medical research and construction of medical facilities.Payment for personal health services shifted considerably from direct out-of-pocket

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