The Biggest Health Concern.
In the 1930s the biggest health concern of America was how to pay for medical needs. The national income was less than half of what it had been in 1929, and in several states as many as 40 percent of the people were on relief. Many Americans could not pay their medical bills, and visits to physicians and hospitals decreased. Before the Depression, physicians charged a fee-for-service on a sliding scale and collected their bills as best they could. They also saw some patients on a charity basis and passed the expenses along to those who could pay. Loss of medical services and reduced ability to pay meant lower incomes for physicians, too. While doctors as a group fared better than many other professions during the Depression, in many cases they also saw their incomes halved. Hospitals were in similar trouble. Beds went empty as patients could no longer afford a two-week hospitalization, which was the...
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