Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - August 28, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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British Nationalized Health Service Is Sick
A Co in Investment
Don’t sell your silver coins The futures market is far too bright to consider disposing of old silver. I his is in response to hundreds of readers who have written to ask what they should do with their accumulation of discontinued United States silver coinage.
lf you can possibly hold on to your silver dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollars for another year your profit will be much greater. Silver is bound to show a noticeable
by Mort Reed
increase during the next eight months resulting in a larger yield than can be realized from today’s market.
U S dimes contain 0723375 ounces of pure silver; quarters. 18084375 ounces; half dollars, 3616875 ounces, and dollars, .7734375 ounces As of July 24, silver was $5 IH5 tier ounce, making the dime worth 0.37362 or 37 cents; quarters 0.93405 or 93 cents; half dollars I 86908 or SI 87 and dollars 3 99480 or S3 99
All Quarter Eagles struck before 1834 are very rare in any grade or condition and art' very popular with collectors. Any coins of those issues considered extremely fine or better should be considered a worthwhile, albeit long-term investment However, don’t expect a drastic price jump along with the more common date, but rather a long, steady, upward growth
Tho U.S. Quarter Eagle or $2.50 gold piece, was first struck in 1796 and after 1821 was issued fairly regularly until the series was discontinued in 1929 For a series with as many different dates arid mint marks as the Quarter Eagle, it is altogether remarkable that only four of
them have mintages of more than one million pieces <I ,-404,668 in 1853 being the largest issue).
The series is loaded with low-mintage coins, and yet many of them sell for relatively little because the series has never been widely popular with the specialized date collector, except possibly the Indian-head series from 1908 to 1929 It is probably the most underrated of all U S gold coin series, and it would take relatively little activity on the part of date collectors to boost their prices completely out of sight
The series is full of short issues, coins with mintages less than IO,(MKI that sell for loss than $300 to $400 In fact, many dates in the series, particularly in the 1880s and 1890s. have mintages of less than 5.000 pieces and yet catalog at ridiculously low levels.
In 1972, common-date Liberty-head Coronet Quarter Eagles experienced substantial price jumps, although not nearly as dramatic as those
for gold dollars Since January of 1973 brilliant, uncirculated specimens have increased better than 50 percent while piceces in a lesser condition advanced roughly 25 percent. The difference in the percentage of increase accurately reflecting the difference in availability Truly, uncirculated specimens of any date Libertv-head Quarter Eagle are really quite scarce
The Indian-head series is very popular since it is possible to assemble a complete collection in extremely fine to about uncirculated condition for around $1JMMI This is by far the least-expensive series of U S gold coins to complete. The only scarce coin in the entire series being the 1911-1) with a mintage of 55,681) The same coin is available in all grades less than uncirculated but uncirculated specimens an* very rare and seldom offered for sale
As with all gold coins, fake Quarter Eagles are plentiful. Also please be aware of the the possibility of a “I)” mint letter being placed on a 1911 coin to make it appear as a 1911-1)
Mobil Seeking To Buy Words
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Mobil Oil Corp. wants to take over Marcor Corp., the parent company of Montgomery Ward & ('<>., because of Mobil’s long-standing policy of diversifying its interests, an executive of the oil company said
James Q. Riordan, a senior vice-president of Mobil, said the $835-million offer for control of Marcor represented only IO percent of the sum the oil company plans to invest in the energy field Riordan testified before the senate small business subcommittee
LONDON (UPI) _ Official statistics claim Britons arc among the healthiest people on earlh
They say the average Briton can exiled to live longer than his American counterpart In faut mortality is lower and dental health is second only to the U. S
Yet the body that made this possible in less than throe decades, the “from cradle to grave,’ state-run national health service, appears in mortal danger. The only cure may be a massive transfusion of money the nation can ill af ford
Doctors say they fear its im minent collapse and demand higher pay — currently ranging from about $12,000 to $15,000 a year for general practitioners.
Nurses, who make less than one-fifth of this. struck for the first time iii British history this spring for the same reason
Laboratory technicians who run life-saving heart and kidney machines as well as X rays did tin* same and refused to handle all but emergency cases.
To meet all demands for higher pay. more hospitals and equipment would impose a crippling new tax burden
In 1948. the system’s idealistic founders made all medical and dental treatment free ll was supposed to be funded bv special taxation and the theory was that as the nation grew healthier, its cost would go down
Instead, three years later a labor government imposed token charges for medicines. glasses, dentures arid wigs to curb the mushrooming deficit
Although visits to the doctor’s office, maternity and some other services and medicines are still free, costs to patients have continued to rise
Last year Britain devoted 5'v percent of its gross national
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product to keep it going, six times the percentage of 1951
Some 350 to 400 disillusioned British doctors emigrate every year. Those who stay are of finally classed as tile country’s most overworked profession
Patients complain I fir* i r harassed doctors barely have lime to hear their symptoms before ushering them out of the office
To meet the doctor drain. Britain is recruiting replacements from India, Pakistan, I hi* West Indies and other commonwealth coun
tries They now compose about half of the nation’s interns Hospitals up and down the country have been forced to close emergency departments and recovery wards for lack of staff
The hospitals themselves an* antiquated — averaging 70 years Many were originally built as work houses for the poor, arid look it A former administrator of the nation’s hospitals said he was the largest slum landlord in Britain Out of 230 new hos
pitals projected by 1972, only 40 wore actually built.
“The present hospital setup is creaking and (racking ominously under the shortage of competent hospital doctors, nurses and all forms of ancillary staff,’’ a medical consultant said
No one seriously ill lacks skilled and rapid treatment But for non urgent cases, patients can wait three months for eye surgery, 22 weeks to have their tonsils removed and even years for such ailments as varicose veins.
An average 600,000 patients await non-urgent surgery at any one time The British Medical Assn estimates the health service needs $1 4 billion immediately to keep pace with inflation The government gave $96 million.
The association takes the threat of the system s collapse so seriously that it has started work on an alternative fee-paying private health service “We are in a situation where it would he foolish not to be prepared.” said associated President Walpole Levin
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