Invitation To Catastrophe


There are few more abject sights than that of Congress surrendering to interest-group pressure. But even by the craven standards of Capitol Hill, it was striking when the House voted 360 to 66 last week to rescind the Medicare catastrophic health-insurance program that it had lopsidedly approved amid a self-congratulatory frenzy just last year. The Senate showed enough moxie to save fragments of the plan, but it too voted to kill a special income-tax surcharge (up to $800) that would have been levied solely on the affluent elderly to help fund the program.

Is selfishness to blame? In truth, the 1988...

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