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News In Brief

Reagan eyes freeze in medicare payments

President Reagan confirmed Thursday that the administration is eyeing a freeze on medicare payments to doctors and hospitals as part of its assault on the federal deficit.

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''Medical care is the fastest increasing service that we have in regard to inflation,'' Mr. Reagan said.

The existing freeze, imposed for 15 months starting last July, applied only to the rates paid to doctors for various medicare services. It was designed to save the government $600 million. The broader plan envisioned by the administration could save nearly $3 billion in fiscal 1986 and up to $20 billion over three years.