The Administration: What the Doctor Ordered

Before Medicare took effect on July 1, there were dire predictions of imminent chaos. Every oldster with a hangnail or bellyache would demand a hospital bed, pushing admissions beyond capacity. Thousands of hospitals would fail to meet federal standards and thus be unable to serve Medicare patients. General administration of a plan covering 19.1 million persons could easily break down. In the first eight weeks of the program, Medicare has had its problems, but they have been surprisingly few and far less serious than expected.

Widespread Confusion. Last week, as teams of expert observers toured the U.S. and regional offices...

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