One of the ironies of modern life is that in an era of apparent mastery over our environment, we find ourselves faced with problems, largely of our own making, that seem to defy our best efforts to solve them. The cost of health care is one of these problems, both now and in the foreseeable future. It is commonly believed that in a society committed to equity of access to fundamental opportunities, everyone should benefit equally from medicine's ability to conquer disability and prolong life in the face of death. This is why Congress passed the Medicare and Medicaid legislation.
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