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When a lifetime of healthcare cost just $1,700

The Atlantic, April 23, 2012

Dialogue With Life, a documentary from the late fifties or early sixties sponsored by the Medical Society of the State of New York, looks at advances in medical technology and the corresponding rise in health insurance in the mid-20th century. This excerpt, courtesy of the Prelinger Archive, looks back at medicine 1931—a time when hardly anyone had health insurance and diseases like pneumonia were deadly. The narrator gives an overview of how much healthcare cost at the time, and the numbers are fascinating.