Is Physical Therapy Covered By Medicare?

Is Physical Therapy Covered By Medicare?

It is well within the power of congress to

establish such a system, and many persons

would be interested to know how the health

of the nation may be cared for without the

nurse, the physician and the hospital.

It is not a question of whether the govern

ment should or should not take upon itself

the care of the health of the nation. That

already has been done in a large measure.

The question is: Do we want to and can we

set up a system which will give us better


If we can there is every reason to.

do so. The government has, under the

war-time amendments of the social-security

act, taken upon itself the care of the health

of the army, and the same may be done in

peace times whenever the nation thinks it

is desirable.

The question of who shall be the doctor

of this new system, who shall be the nurse in

the doctor's office, who shall be the phy

sician's assistant, who shall be the pharma

cist's assistant, must be solved before a sys

tem is worked out. Once these are settled

the system may be worked out.

The question of how to get from the pre

sent personal system of doctoring, in which

the doctor is responsible for the care of his

patients, to the new system of doctoring,

in which the patient is responsible for the

care of his health, is a very difficult one.

One of the questions is how far can we go

within our present system of medicine to

bring about the necessary changes?

There is no doubt that some of our local

mass-production methods of manufacturing

foods, such as the milk-pasteurizing and

bottling plants, are capable of a vast im

provement. There is no doubt that some of

our individual doctors are eager to get

their patients interested in good health and

are willing to avail themselves of any help

that they can get from the new system of

mass production of health care.

The question is not whether the new sys

tem is a good thing, but whether we can

get it.

It is already evident that the present sys

tem of medical care is breaking down.

The health of the nation is in a bad way.

Every day's news of the progress of sci

ence, of the latest developments in medicine

and surgery, makes the need for a new sys

tem more apparent. It may be that it will

take a great war to bring the nation to face

the necessity of a new system.

The war has brought to the surface the

most primitive instincts of the human na

ture. It has revealed the highest and most

democratic instincts of the human na

ture. It has brought the most generous

gifts of men, of women, of money and

material to the doorstep of the common


There are those who cannot give money,

but who are eager to contribute their time

to the work of the Red Cross. This is the

work of democracy and the war has made

easier the acceptance of a system of medi

cine that will take care of the health of the


The new system of health care may be

a new war measure. But it may be a more

far-reaching measure than the war. It

may be that the war has made it possible

for us to rise above the mere competitive

system of health care and a system of mass

production of health care may be the


There are two conditions, in particular,

which may force us to a change from the

present system of health care:

One is the ever increasing cost of medi

cal care.

The other is the failure of the present

system to care for the health of the nation.

It is evident that the present system of

doctoring is not adequate to the needs of

the present social order. It cannot provide

for all the inhabitants of the United States,

or even for the inhabitants of any one city,

and in many cities it is impossible to get

a doctor.

The present system of paying doctors

by their services is not a proper system for

the new doctoring. It never has been. It

is not a system that can be made to cover

all the needs of all classes of people. It

is a system that has been gradually com

ing to a standstill because of the growing

needs of the people for medical aid.

The system of doctoring by fee-paying

patients is a system of the past. It is pre

cisely as old as the Crusades. It is a dis

tinctly medieval system. The people want

more and better medical care than the old

fee-paying system will provide.

Some medical men have said that they

would rather have the people sick than have

their medical care in mass production. If

this is true, it may be that the medical pro

fession is doomed to disappear. The pro

fession of the Middle Ages is gone.

The new system of medical care is in

the process of development and the

medical profession is playing a part in the

creation of this new system. More and

more doctors are adopting the new

methods to care for the health of the com


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