The Clinton plan for older persons and those in need of long-term care offers short-term problems and long-term promises. Final judgment depends in part on the level of commitment assumed for various aspects of the plan. In the near term, even under the best scenario, there will be problems of discoordination as certain groups (like the dually eligible and those needing long-term care) are caught in the gaps between the new and the old. In the longer term, there are potential gains from a more integrated system of care that can accommodate both acute and chronic care and eliminate the administrative incentives to shift fiscal responsibility. Medicare was passed in an effort to correct a disparity. It would be ironic if its existence created a new one. At the same time, older persons are currently better served than many uninsured younger persons. Before they open their mouths to grab for the bone in the water, they had best hang on to the one they have.