When the Single Payer Becomes the Single Player

American medical care and its financing have been transformed over the last century.  Up until about 1920, American medical care in was quite primitive.  It is quite possible that before then, it would have been healthier for the average person to not visit a doctor.  But then several factors coalesced.  There were new pharmaceuticals, widespread acceptance of the germ theory, improved anesthesia and surgical techniques, vaccination, and standardization of medical education.  People began to gain confidence that if you were admitted to a hospital that you might actually go back home instead of dying, as was the previous experience.  Although these new advances look inexpensive to us, the cost was onerous for its time.  People dreaded the cost of hospitalization. Although it was the heyday of the Progressive Era, Americans had no stomach for nationalized health care.  Free enterprise filled the void.  Some hospitals in Texas began...(Read Full Article)

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