How Poorly Off Are the Elderly?

A conference on their problems turns into a political rumble

The first two White House Conferences on Aging were gatherings of generally like-minded advocates, assembled at federal expense to lobby the Federal Government for more money for the elderly. In 1961 the conference helped build momentum for the passage of Medicare and Medicaid. The 1971 session spurred Congress to a sharp increase in Social Security benefits. But this year, with the White House committed to reducing spending on social services, the delegates were far from like-minded. At times they were as fiery and unruly...

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