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This Note surveys the history and prospects for Medicare and Medicaid as they were seen in early 1984. It is intended to serve as a reference paper for analysts concerned with publicly funded health programs for the elderly and the poor. The Note discusses the basic features of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, problems with the programs, changes in the programs to the present, and potential changes in the programs.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.