Early Decision Seen on Insurance for Catastrophic Illness

Associated Press

President Reagan is studying a memorandum from his Domestic Policy Council outlining alternatives on a health insurance program to cover catastrophic illness, but has not made a decision, spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said today.

"A decision memorandum went to the President over the weekend," Fitzwater told reporters.

He said he expects a decision "very soon" but he added, "I would not speculate on which way he is leaning."

The secretary of health and human services, Otis R. Bowen, has proposed a plan that would expand the Medicare coverage of elderly people, adding $4.92 to their monthly fee of $17.90, but conservatives have argued that Medicare should not be broadened at the expense of private health insurance.

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