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Social Issues and Medicine

Robert A. Goldstein, MC; Army
Arch Intern Med. 1971;127(4):773-774. doi:10.1001/archinte.1971.00310160251023.
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To the Editor.  —The Symposium on Social Issues and Medicine in the January issue (Arch Intern Med127:49-110, 1971) failed to comment on the massive system of socialized medicine that already exists in the United States; namely, military, veterans, and Public Health Service hospitals. Should the term socialized medicine be anathema to any reader, let him "shop and compare" these facilities with their European counterparts. Socialized medicine by any other name is still socialized medicine.Having accepted this premise, several questions come to mind. How do you explain to a young unemployed black Vietnam veteran in Washington, DC, that he can be admitted to the VA Hospital for treatment of an acute illness but cannot receive outpatient treatment for a "nonservice connected" disorder? Why must an "ordinary ghetto resident" seek care at federally financed DC General or Freedman's Hospital but not at federally financed Bethesda Naval Hospital, NIH, Walter


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