For more than a decade, health care cost and service issues have been debated energetically in the US Congress and in state legislatures and have been subject to widespread interpretation by the mass media. Various reforms have been proposed, and the concept of a broad, national remedy, in the form of national health insurance, has become increasingly popular.
In the past few months, health affairs have moved off the front pages on a routine basis, replaced by headlines about such topics as inflation, food prices, energy shortages, and public morality.
With the momentum for national health insurance stayed somewhat, it has been possible to examine health issues both with more reflection and less in a state of crisis. For example, last year's national health insurance proposals are now being reexamined in the cold light of their administrative feasibility and cost, as well as their political appeal. In a less heated