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Focus: Washington Scandal may hinder health reform

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: (Published 04 June 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1458
  1. J Roberts

    Twenty years ago political scandal stopped the United States Congress from reforming the nation's health care system. It may happen again this year. In 1974 Richard Nixon's promise to overhaul the system was usurped by the Watergate scandal and by a congressional sex scandal. Wilbur Mills, the head of Congress's powerful ways and means committee, was brought down when he was arrested for drunkenness after being found with an exotic dancer in Washington. In 1994 the success of President Clinton's health care bill rests with a handful of men, several of whom face scandals just as the compromising gets underway.

    The most serious threat is to Dan Rostenkowski of Chicago, Mills's successor on the ways and means committee, who has been the most powerful proponent of Mr Clinton's …

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