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J Med Philos. 1988 Feb;13(1):5-29.

Reflections on Medicare.

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  • 1Institution for Social and Policy Studies; New Haven, CT 06520-7382.


At its inception, the Medicare program was seen as a way to bring the elderly into the mainstream of American medicine. The program after twenty years is increasingly viewed as an instrumentality to influence the nature and costs of American medicine. The first part of this article reviews the origins, history, and evolution of the Medicare program in order to explain how and why this change has come about. In the concluding section, the article explores further the implications of the program's concentration on the aged, its uncertain notion of entitlement, and the bewildering character of the current claims of generational inequity allegedly imposed by Medicare's present outlays of +70 billion and its persistingly high rate of cost increases.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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