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Medicare’s midlife crisis: Catastrophic finances pit doctors against patients

(By – David Hogberg, National Center for Public Policy Research)

July 30 marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson signing Medicare into law. At the time it was signed, government actuaries had predicted that the portion of the program that covers hospital insurance would cost $9 billion by 1990. In reality, it ended up costing $67 billion by that point — or more than 7 times the original estimate. Since its inception, the program has been dramatically expanded by both parties — even when President George W. Bush had a Republican Congress, he twisted arms to add a prescription drug benefit in 2003. Read more…


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