BRAZIL: The Climate of Reform

To the gate of a Rio hospital one morning last week, a young woman brought a pain-racked old man holding a bloodstained towel to his face. "For the love of God, open up!" she cried. "My father needs a doctor!" The gate stayed shut.

The old man was one of thousands of Brazilians who found government hospitals and free-care clinics in Rio closed to them last week. Some 600 government doctors were on strike. The doctors' complaint: Brazil's President Joao Cafe Filho, determined to hold down government spending and stop runaway inflation, had vetoed a bill that would have...

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