National Affairs: Pain, Pressure & Politics Make Powerful Medicine


Old age is the harbor of all ills.

—Diogenes Laertius (3rd century A.D.)

AT a venerable 78, Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn is acutely sensitive to the afflictions of age. This year his brother Tom, 72, underwent surgery for cancer, lingered for several months, then died. Farmer Tom Rayburn had no money, no health insurance. Mister Sam picked up the bill which ran into many thousands. "I had the money and was glad to do it," says Rayburn. "But a lot of folks don't have the money and can't...

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