Nation: Taking the Litmus Test

Carter's bill to curb hospital costs challenges Congress

Jimmy Carter insisted that the bill had to be passed. Alfred Kahn, the Administration's anti-inflation strategist, declared that it would contribute more to curbing the rising cost of living than any other piece of legislation. HEW Secretary Joseph Califano termed it "the litmus test" for all members of Congress "on whether or not they have the guts to do something about inflation."

The barrage of rhetoric, which seemed a shade inflated itself, was supporting the Administration's 1979 version of a hospital cost containment bill that passed...

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