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May 13, 1992

Making the Critical Choices

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Mass.

JAMA. 1992;267(18):2509-2520. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480180095036

IN THE year since The Journal published its theme issue on "Caring for the Uninsured and Underinsured" (May 15, 1991), the debate over the need for a national health plan has intensified. The already broad interest in health care reform has been widened by a diverse group of proposals by presidential candidates, members of Congress, professional associations, and national leadership groups that can be added to the 13 proposals we reviewed. Opinion surveys show that public interest in national solutions to these problems remains intense. When asked in January 1992 what issues besides the economy and foreign

For editorial comment see p 2521. affairs presidential candidates should emphasize, the public ranked health care and health insurance highest among all items mentioned.1 Similarly, when queried about the future content of the President's State of the Union Address, 93% of Americans reported that they thought it should include a program for