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Reagan asks AMA to take a freeze on medicare pay

President Reagan called surging medical care costs a malignancy Thursday. He told the American Medical Association (AMA) it should accept a one-year freeze on medicare payments to physicians.

He noted that the cost of health care had risen almost 21/2 times as fast as the overall inflation rate in the last year. He outlined some longstanding proposals to cut costs by revising payment methods for medicare.

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The AMA strongly opposes a White House plan for a one-year freeze at current levels in the payments medicare makes to doctors. Mr. Reagan also praised the AMA for a statement that the news media had exaggerated the dangers of the chemical dioxin.