MEDICARE: Expensive, Successful MEDICAID: Chaotic, Irrevocable

When Congress approved Medicare and Medicaid, both proponents and opponents turned prophet. Advocates were sure that the measures would bring enormous health benefits to millions over 65, covered by Medicare, and to more millions in low-income brackets who would be covered (the states permitting) by Medicaid. Doomsayers saw in both programs socialized medicine and the welfare state at its worst; they foresaw hordes of oldsters jamming the hospitals under Medicare and greater hordes of ne'er-do-wells chiseling on Medicaid.

Medicaid has now been extended to 35 states, and has been operating for 21 months...

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