The Final Option Radical Surgery

After years of idle talk, momentum is finally building for health-care reform. President-elect Bill Clinton has promised to announce a proposal in his first 100 days, partly because an urgent message has sunk in: "The cost of doing nothing is enormous," says Judith Feder, who heads Clinton's health-care transition team. The nation's health-care bill is expected to rise another 10% this year, to $889 billion--up 63% since 1988. That's a huge burden on employers, who pay 51.7% of the total, and a major obstacle to cutting the bloated federal budget for Washington, which shoulders 33.7%. For many states, which chip in 14.4% for medicare, medicaid, and such, it's a near-disaster.

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