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July 1995

Government-Provided Health Care: A Prediction

Author Affiliations

Ben Eiseman, MD, Emeritus Professor of Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, is recognized by his surgical colleagues as an astute clinician, creative thinker, and master motivator of young surgeons. His depth of knowledge, precision, and approach to problems involving surgeons have received worldwide recognition. Professor Eiseman has no peer as a book reviewer. He is currently a distinguished physician of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Arch Surg. 1995;130(7):728-731. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1995.01430070050008

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A 75th birthday is a good time to review the past in order to predict the future. This article, based on our past experience, analyzes our current capabilities and ventures a prediction of the future role of government-provided health care in the United States.

At one extreme a Nostradamus might predict a total federal government takeover, with federal employees providing all care within government-owned and -operated medical centers. At the other extreme would be a totally privatized system with government only guaranteeing payment for care by the private sector for those who are otherwise uninsured.

GOVERNMENT  The term government in this article includes all levels of tax-supported programs, whether funded by federal, state, county, or municipal governments. Citizens whose taxes are used for health care are primarily concerned that their dollars be used efficiently, not whether the dollars come from their federal, state, or local contribution.


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