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Edited by: CQ Press

In: Congress and the Nation, 1985-1988, Vol. VII: The 99th and 100th Congresses

Chapter : Health and Human Services

Edited by: CQ Press

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781483302706.n9

Subject: Congress

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Health and Human Services
Health and human services
Introduction

Ronald Reagan came to Washington determined to make the federal government more efficient and less expensive.

Probably nowhere in the federal realm was failure to reach that goal more glaring than in the area of health policy, where over the decade of the 1980s it seemed the government was spending more and more and getting less and less.

While costs spiraled upward faster than in any other sector of the economy, by 1988 an estimated one in six Americans lacked health insurance and the nation boasted an infant mortality rate higher than that of virtually every other developed nation.

Most economists and analysts agreed that the factors contributing to the continued escalation in health-care costs were largely beyond the control of the ...

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