In 1929, medical charges for urban families making $2,000 and $3,000 per year averaged $67, unless they faced hospitalization and then it could cost them $267.00.
So regular care was 2.68% of income. Hospitalization could bring that up to 11% and the system functioned.
Of course we had increases in medical science, professional standards and the medical care delivery. The science of health care improved but somehow as the science improved the cost grew...unlike every other sector of the economy. Costs rose with standards. Insurance became more popular to meet the risks presented by raised costs.
Insurance brought more people in to receive care. In other economic models when you have more customers costs go down, but not with U.S. health care, costs rose.
As industry couldn'' or wouldn't provide affordable insurance coverage to all the government stepped in with medicare and medicaid and costs for all went up by a factor of 15. (more then twice the rate of inflation).
Somewhere, somehow, something went wrong.
So why can't we get by on 5 or 10% of our income now when people could manage on 2.68% in the past?