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Would the doctors support the Medicare program?

The other problem was more difficult. Under the recently enacted Civil Rights Act, hospitals that received federal funds had to be desegregated. Southern and even some Eastern, Western, and Northern hospitals balked. The President had me, as his chief assistant for domestic affairs, give him daily reports about hospitals signing up.

I gave him reports of hospitals across the South and where we had difficulties elsewhere until we had them signed up.

Why Lyndon Johnson, a truly awful man, is my political hero

We in the Johnson Administration anticipated sharply increased demand for healthcare services, so we pushed through Congress laws to train more doctors and nurses, build more hospitals, and set up community health centers. We assumed incorrectly that we were playing by traditional economic rules: the more doctors and hospitals, the more competition, the more efficient and less costly the services. By and , we realized how misguided this assumption was. The rise of healthcare costs was accelerating dramatically. Congress failed to act.


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Second, as I note in the new introductory essay in the new edition of my book, The Triumph and Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson: The White House Years Califano, , we did not appreciate the way Medicare and Medicaid would inject the federal government into a host of ethical problems and religious convictions. With the extension and explosion of the older adult population has come end-of-life issues, even euthanasia and assisted suicide, for example.

Bibliography of Lyndon B. Johnson

With the sexual and medical revolution, controversies abound about funding abortion and contraception and who gets whose organs and transplants. These issues—cost of care and ethical and religious concerns—pose infernally complex questions for our free and uniquely diverse society that will challenge our nation and its leaders for many years to come.

From to , Joseph A. Califano, Jr. Califano is the author of more than twelve books, including a new edition of his book, The Triumph and Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson: The White House Years, originally published in and republished by Simon and Schuster in February with a new 7,word introduction.

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Click here to read more. About This Item We aim to show you accurate product information. Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and we have not verified it. See our disclaimer. Califano takes us into the Oval Office as the decisions that irrevocably changed the United States were being crafted to create Johnson's ambitious Great Society.

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President Lyndon Johnson was bigger than life--and no one who worked for him or was subjected to the "Johnson treatment" ever forgot it. Specifications Publisher Atria Books. Customer Reviews.


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Lyndon Johnson had the misfortune of following the handsome, martyred John F. Kennedy into the White House and then miring his country in Vietnam. Driven, compulsive, occasionally crude, he was an easy target for his many critics. He also was the architect of a lasting economic and social revolution, pushing through Medicare, the Voting Rights Act, and other reforms as part of an ambitious Great Society agenda that reached high tide 50 years ago.

Joseph A.