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May 1975

Medicine and Society

Arch Intern Med. 1975;135(5):736-737. doi:10.1001/archinte.1975.00330050110020

It has only been during the past 25 years, and principally since the initiation of National Health Insurance in England, that American political figures have given much emphasis to the question of the medical profession's relationship to the public at large. In fact, even though the issue of some form of national health insurance—socialized medicine or freedom-of-choice medicine—has been debated vigorously for almost the same length of time, the issue was not widely discussed until recently. Just before the passage of the Medicare legislation in 1966, there was a flurry of intense public debate, but then most of it died down. Now the discussions have been joined again, only the question is no longer whether or not there will be national health insurance, but rather what type of insurance will be enacted. Furthermore, so popular has the issue become that many political figures have vied for center stage so as

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