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Sept 18, 1967


JAMA. 1967;201(12):33-34. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130120017004

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The Blue Cross Association urged the Senate to make the medicare program more efficient.

"The present program is too complex to administer with excessive paperwork, time and cost," declared James Ensign, Blue Cross Vice President in testimony before the Senate Finance Committee.

The Committee is considering HR 12080, the House-passed Social Security Amendments bill which increases Social Security cash benefits and taxes and makes numerous changes in the medicare program, many of them proposed by the medical profession.

The hearings on the bill are expected to continue through late September. The Senate probably will not act on the measure until October.

Ensign told the Committee that in medicare "there is being created one of the most complex health insurance relationships ever designed, one which is becoming more instead of less detailed as time goes on and interpretations are added to regulations."

Even experts have difficulty figuring out the details, much