The health care crisis is upon us. In response to soaring costs, a jumbled patchwork of insurance programs, and critical problems in delivering medical care, some kind of national health insurance has seemed in recent years to be an idea whose time has finally come in America. For those not protected by insurance–and often for those who are partially protected–illness means financial disaster. The quality of American medical care is at issue too. After twenty years of unprecedentedly high spending for research our public health standards have fallen far behind some countries with fewer resources. We rank seventeenth in infant mortality, according to a United Nations study; thirtieth in life expectancy for males, behind Spain, Greece, and five Communist nations in Eastern Europe. And yet, writes reporter Godfrey Hodgson, for all our troubles, an opportunity to reform American health care has slipped by. How could this be? And where do we go from here?

This prefaces an article from the October issue of Atlantic, “The Politics of American Health Care: What is it costing you?

The October 1973 issue, that is.

Also, here are the results of a 1961 electronic health record initiative by IBM in Akron Children’s Hospital.

Anything sound familiar?