To what extent does the state now assume responsibility for the medical care of its citizens? In this paper I attempt to answer the question through an analysis of existing laws and current practices in the state of New York.
Through a succession of far-reaching laws for human welfare, the state and local governments in New York already have become responsible for many and diverse types of medical care, supplementing traditional preventive health functions.
The treatment of mental disease, for example, has been a state function since 1890. There has been built up an excellent system of hospitals, with a patient population of nearly 55,000, maintained at a cost of about $20,000,000 a year. Appearing frequently in old laws was the term "pauper insane," a term which now is replaced by "persons with mental disease." This well illustrates the change in public concept toward this problem. Supplementing the excellent system