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House-Senate conferees reached agreement on a medicare measure that includes a social security hospital benefit plan for the elderly and a supplemental medical insurance program (voluntary) subsidized in part by the government.The major change made by the conferees was elimination from the Senate version of the controversial provision placing the services of medical specialists— radiologists, pathologists, physiatrists, and anesthesiologists—under the basic, medicare hospital program.The conferees, ranking members of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee, agreed to the House version which placed the services of the specialists as well as other physicians under the optional supplemental plan.The action was a major victory for the American Medical Association which vigorously opposed the Senate provision, on grounds that it would lead to hospital domination of the four specialties.Donovan F. Ward, MD, then president of the AMA, told the Senate Finance Committee that
WASHINGTON NEWS. JAMA. 1965;193(5):15-16. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090050093056