Medicine: Blue Cross Bearing Down

Watchdogging medical costs

Medical costs in the U.S. are so high partly because nonprofit insurance companies and government programs have been paying most doctor and hospital bills, with few questions asked. One person who wants to do something about it is President Carter, who has proposed setting cost ceilings on medical services. Now the Blue Cross Association, representing the largest conglomerate of hospitalization insurers, has joined the Carter cost-cutting crusade.

Last week Walter J. McNerney, president of Blue Cross, announced that its 69 member-plans had agreed on a new program of cost containment for...

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