Health Care Plans and Medical Practice

June 20, 1962

Report Outline
Voluntary Plans for Health Insurance
The Government and Health Care Plans

Controversy over the administration proposal to finance certain medical services to the aged under the social security system presents a new phase in the country's continuing effort to adjust to striking changes in the practice of medicine. In the United States, the present medical order is characterized by protective and curative procedures vastly more effective—but far more costly—than those used at any time in the past, and by unprecedented public demand for enjoyment of their benefits. Traditional ways of rendering medical services have been greatly modified by the simultaneous development of new medical techniques and of insurance plans to give protection against the often heavy costs of illness.

Over the years, the earlier opposition to prepayment for medical care has virtually disappeared; the prepayment principle is now all but universally accepted. But a great debate continues over the role to be played in this field by the federal government. Whatever the outcome of the immediate controversy over provision of health care for the aged, it is clear that discussion of how best to bring a high order of medical service to increasing numbers of people—young as well as old—will go on into the future. The form that plans for doing so may take will be influenced by, and in turn may influence, the still changing patterns of medical practice.

Disappearance of Traditional Family Doctor

A recent Brookings Institution study of the medical profession noted that “Even in the mass media the traditional symbol of medical care—the kindly old family doctor with his big heart and little black bag, part healer, part priest, part family counselor—has been replaced by the picture of the highly trained impersonal young surgeon, in mask and rigidly aseptic garb, surrounded by the complex and expensive equipment of a hospital operating room.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Health Insurance
Oct. 23, 2020  The U.S. Health Insurance System
Oct. 18, 2019  Health Care Debates
Sep. 21, 2012  Assessing the New Health Care Law
Jun. 11, 2010  Health-Care Reform Updated
Aug. 28, 2009  Health-Care Reform
Mar. 30, 2007  Universal Coverage
Jun. 14, 2002  Covering the Uninsured
Apr. 16, 1999  Managing Managed Care
Apr. 12, 1996  Managed Care
Mar. 17, 1995  Primary Care
Nov. 23, 1990  Setting Limits on Medical Care
Oct. 14, 1988  The Failure to Contain Medical Costs
Aug. 10, 1984  Health Care: Pressure for Change
Apr. 08, 1983  Rising Cost of Health Care
Jan. 28, 1977  Controlling Health Costs
Aug. 09, 1974  Health Maintenance Organizations
Jun. 13, 1973  Health Care in Britain and America
Jan. 18, 1970  Future of Health Insurance
Jun. 20, 1962  Health Care Plans and Medical Practice
May 28, 1958  Health Insurance Costs
Feb. 17, 1954  Government Aid for Health Plans
Nov. 22, 1949  Compensation for Disability
Aug. 30, 1946  Public Medical Care
Jan. 25, 1944  Medical Insurance
Sep. 16, 1938  Health Insurance in Foreign Countries
Mar. 06, 1937  Toward Health Insurance
Jul. 09, 1934  Sickness Insurance and Group Hospitalization
Health Insurance and Managed Care
Medical Profession and Personnel