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INTRODUCTION

HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS
Physicians
Medical Education
Other Health Professionals

HEALTH CARE FACILITIES

HEALTH CARE AROUND THE WORLD

MEDICAL RESEARCH
Clinical Trials
Research Funding
Research Costs

HISTORY OF MEDICINE
Egyptian
Mesopotamian
Palestinian
Indian
Chinese
Greek
Greco-Roman
Arabic
European

THE DAWN OF MODERN MEDICINE
18th-Century Medicine
19th-Century Medicine

20TH-CENTURY MEDICINE
Infectious Diseases
Nutrition
Surgery
Radiology
Mental Illness
Genetics and Biotechnology
Endocrinology
Pregnancy and Childbirth
Heart Disease
Cancer
Telemedicine

CURRENT ISSUES IN MEDICINE
Medical Ethics
Preventive Medicine
Nontraditional Medical Practices
Cost of Medical Care


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Cost of Medical Care


The United States spends more on health care than any other country in the world. Spending in 1998 averaged $4,094 per person, compared to $2,689 in 1990, $1,052 in 1980, $341 in 1970, and $141 in 1960. The only countries that approached the United States in per capita spending were Switzerland ($2,412), Germany ($2,222), Luxembourg ($2,206), and Canada ($2,002). In the United States, spending on health care exceeded $1.1 trillion in 1998, up from $699.4 billion in 1990, $247.3 in 1980, $73.2 in 1970, and $26.9 billion in 1960.

Yet millions of Americans still do not have adequate access to health care because they lack insurance coverage. An estimated 44.2 million people had no health insurance in 1998. Access is a greater problem in the United States because most other industrialized countries have national health insurance systems that cover medical expenses. Since the 1960s, the United States Congress established and expanded programs to improve access to care. Medicare, the major program, covered about 38 million people over age 65 and people with disabilities in 1997. Another was Medicaid, a federal-state program that covers low-income people. During the 1990s, Congress considered and rejected proposals to establish a national health insurance system or extend government health care benefits to more people. The high costs of such a program were among the reasons for rejection.

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