THIS is about the time of year when good business men take inventory of stocks on hand, balance assets against liabilities, and attempt to formulate a program which will guide them in the months to come. Sober, realistic appraisal of recent trends in medicine necessarily includes consideration of the rapidly growing medical care plans which are being developed throughout this country and Canada. It is very proper for us as physicians to acquaint ourselves with the details, methods of administration and comparative advantages of the various proposed programs. Voluntary health insurance is one of the answers to recent agitation concerning a National Compulsory Health program. Our patients have a right to expect of us a reasonable familiarity with the practical application of these insurance plans; and to warn them concerning pitfalls which lurk in the fine print on the policy. The informed, conscientious physician constitutes the best safeguard in attempting to keep insurance costs reasonable. Abuses of health insurance only raise the cost of protection. Increasing demands upon income require adequate protection for those who need medical and surgical care on a budget basis at a price they can afford. Too often the economic shock of prolonged, serious illness places terrific strain upon the financial reserves of a family. It is logical to assume that better medical care for more people can most efficiently be administered in a system of free enterprise and in accordance with traditions of our American way of life. An alternative plan has been proposed by those who advocate government operated medical care; and who would enact legislation making such a program the law of the land. The latter has been described as the "allotment of an unknown sum for an unpredictable purpose."
- Copyright © 1952 by the American Academy of Pediatrics