Government in the United States, DR. JAMES HOWARD MEANS points out, is today paying twice as much of the nation’s total health bill as it did in 1929. This is partly the result of the development of our program for Public Health but chiefly the result of the ever increasing expense of caring for the wounded and the sick of the two World Wars. With medical aid being proffered on three different levels — Federal, state, and local — is it not time for as to follow an integrated program rather than one of expensive duplication?
Are the American people getting adequate medical care at a price they can afford? Speaking from the experience of twenty-seven years as a Professor of Clinical Medicine at Harvard University and Chief of the Medical Services at the Massachusetts General Hospital, DR. JAMES HOWARD MEANSevaluates the efforts of both doctors and laymen to meet the nation’s health needs. Atlantic readers will recall his articles ”England’s Public Medicine" (March, 1950) and “The Doctors Lobby ” (October, 1950). The role of government in the organization of medical services will be the subject of the next article by Dr. Means, in an early issue.
Medical care is for the people, not for the doctors, says JAMES HOWARD MEANS, M.D., and skyrocketing costs can be reduced and better service provided by private enterprise only if the American Medical Association — organized medicine — takes a more open-minded and constructive view. Dr. Means is not a socialist; for the past twenty-seven years he has been Professor of Clinical Medicine at Harvard University and Chief of the Medical Services at the Massachusetts General Hospital.
In the storm of praise and blame which British socialized medicine has blown up on this side of the Atlantic, the findings of independent experts have been all too scarce. For the past twenty-seven years DR. JAMES HOWARD MEANS has been Jackson Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Medical Services at the Massachusetts General Hospital. In his repealed visits to Britain he has come to have a close knowledge of British hospitals and clinics, and in 1949 he made his most recent trip of inspection.