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Episode 1.10: 1970s – 1980 A system in Crisis HR-20-001.10


Healthcare System in Crisis

In the 1970s, it became clear no matter how much we spent on the healthcare system; it was never enough. Although Medicare was less than 5 years old, Congress was forced to hike Medicare Taxes 25%, and still, the optimistic estimates of the cost of the program we’re running out of control.  More doctors and more lawyers entered the fray, and expenses rose more. New procedures, new technologies, and again costs rose still more. Lives got extended, diseases of the elderly became more prevalent, and prices rose even more.

The people’s expectation of what healthcare should cover changed drastically, and the new, now, entitlement coverage was expanded. Even though the costs were ten times what were predicted less than 10 years earlier, Congress expanded the program to provide more coverage at more expense. The system was failing, and a flailing government began to make changes. HMOs, PPOs, Managed Care; more new terms and ideas entered our lexicon, but as you will see, none brought the rising cost curve down.

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