(Yes, even in the future - getting sick and paying for it will be painful) (Another in a series of all-day reposts from the archives of Newstalgia
March 25, 2010


(Yes, even in the future - getting sick and paying for it will be painful)

(Another in a series of all-day reposts from the archives of Newstalgia on our favorite subject: Health Care)

It's always amazing to hear what the future is going to look like, as viewed from the past. Invariably, all manner of convenience will be commonplace, all menial labor will vanish, all worry about getting sick will still be around.

And who is going to pay for it? Even in 1956, they were scratching their heads. The writing was on the wall - more people on the planet, and more of them getting older and well . . .sicker. The good news was the leaps on modern medicine would be greater (that's happened), but people going broke over receiving those leaps would plague us seemingly forever.

In September of 1956, on the occasion of their annual convention, NBC Radio, via their Monitor series, hosted a panel discussion with members of the American Hospital Association (Albert W. Snoke, Lowell T. Codishall and Chicago Daily News Science Editor Arthur Snider), discussing just what this thing was going to be looking like in the future.

Arthur Snider (Chicago Daily News): “ I think foremost, is and has been for some time the matter of costs. For a considerable time people . . the anger was directed towards hospitals, but now with the introduction of hospital bill . . or hospital insurance plans, we have the matter of increasing premiums. And people now are being a little bit unhappy about that. They say, when they get their bills they could have enjoyed a nice couple of weeks at a fancy hotel for that price. I’m sure that argument is fallacious, I’m sure Dr. Snoke has a thought on that.”

Albert W. Snoke (American Hospital Association): “Everybody gets irritated over having to pay any kind of money for anything. They just don’t enjoy paying out money. I don’t blame them for being concerned about hospital costs and hospital charges. The thing that I’d like to first get clear is that there are two different problems we’re talking about. One is how much does it cost to run a hospital. And next, how much does the patient have to pay when he comes into the hospital. And cost and charges are two different things.”

Bear in mind in 1956 Health Insurance was a relatively new thing, but even in 1956 costs were spiraling out of control. Of course at the time no one thought to lay some blame at the feet of the insurance companies - they were still the new kids on the block.

So now that they've become the bullies of the neighborhood . . .

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