This paper explores threats to the maintenance and expansion of public commitment to financing health care for the elderly. Threats come from rising costs that increase financial burdens, especially on low-income elderly; efforts to contain costs that may undermine benefits; and financing initiatives that treat the elderly as the sole revenue source for addressing problems in that age group. A review of these threats provides lessons not only for sustaining and improving health care for the elderly, but also for policy toward equally or more disadvantaged groups.

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