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Medicare's mixed legacy

New York Times, July 6, 2009

The question of whether the government should get in the health insurance business will be debated fiercely in coming months as President Obama and some Democratic lawmakers push for the creation of a government-run plan to compete with private insurance companies. But the federal government is already in the health insurance business, providing coverage to more than 45 million elderly and disabled people through Medicare. And Medicare's record offers insights into the benefits and pitfalls of public healthcare.