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Chairman, Committee on Research in Medical Economics,
This pamphlet is being published at the request of Senator James
Printed for the use of the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare
JUNE 3, 1948.
United States Senate, Washington 25, D. C. DEAR SENATOR SMITH: We beg to transmit to you a report which has been prepared at our request on the reports of the Brookings Institution, Medical Care for the Individual and The Issue of Compulsory Health Insurance. Believing that these reports justified careful analysis by persons expert in the subject, we asked Michael
M. Davis, Ph. D., chairman, Committee on Research in Medical | Economics, New York, and Dewey Anderson, Ph. D., director,
Public Affairs Institute, Washington, to prepare such an analysis, It is transmitted to you herewith and with the request that it be published as a committee print as was the first Brookings document, Medical Care for the Individual.
The review made by Drs. Davis and Anderson shows clearly that many of the difficulties alleged in the Brookings reports against compulsory health insurance plans apply also to voluntary health , insurance plans. Their review also shows that the elaborate parade of statistics which fills a large part of the main Brookings report has no relevance to the central issue under discussion, namely, “Is health
insurance desirable and necessary as the way of paying the costs of i medical care?”
When we examined the preliminary Brookings report published 4 months ago, it seemed to us an attack on compulsory health insurance which, however, not only accepted the principle of health insurance as such but which also advocated voluntary health insurance as the "American solution" of the economic problems of medical service. On examining the review made by Drs. Davis and Anderson of the 200 page Brookings report recently issued, and on checking back to this report itself, we were amazed to find that the Brookings authors accept compulsory insurance after all. They are so doubtful whether voluntary health insurance will be acceptable to a large proportion of our people that they tuck away among their final pages the proposal that the American people be compelled by law to join “voluntary" health insurance plans.
Unfortunately for these gentlemen, the kind of system which they propose would be costly, confusing, and would compel government to take on the very kind of regulation of medical service which is obnoxious to physicians and which is condemned on other pages by the same authors themselves.
We invite you and all other members of the Senate Labor and Welfare Committee to study with care the Brookings report itself and the thorough analysis which we send you herewith. Sincerely yours,
JAMES E. MURRAY.
JUNE 4, 1948. Senator JAMES E. MURRAY,
Senate Office Building, Washington 25, D. C. MY DEAR SENATOR MURRAY: In your letter of April 5, 1948, you enclosed a document entitled “Medical Care for the Individual" which represented a portion of a study undertaken by the Brookings Institution at the request of Senator H. Alexander Smith, chairman of the Subcommittee on Health of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare. You indicated that the Committee on Research in Medical Economics and the Public Affairs Institute might be professionally qualified to undertake an objective analysis of that document, and asked that we furnish you with a report of our analysis.
We have not only analyzed that document but have carefully studied the full text of the Brookings Institution report just published, entitled “The Issue of Compulsory Health Insurance," on which the original document was based.
We have the honor of herewith transmitting to you for your use and for the information of your colleagues, as well as such individuals and groups as might be interested, a summary report of our analysis.
In view of the very apparent and widespread public interest in the Nation's health and in various proposals for meeting national health problems, we trust that our report may be of some value. Sincerely yours,
MICHAEL M. DAVIS. Chairman, Committee on Research and Medical Economics.
DEWEY ANDERSON. Executive Director, Public Affairs Institute.