This paper examines the elderly's out-of-pocket health care expenditures by category of expense, before and after the inception of Medicare. It describes the shifting of out-of-pocket expenses from hospital care to nursing-home care, while physician services and drugs have remained prominent components of out-of-pocket expenditures. Recent corrosive trends in the protection against out-of-pocket liability are discussed and analyzed. The author contends that the raging debate over the Medicare program must include and recognize the concerns of the elderly consumer.

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