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The Nation

September 28, 1987

A senior citizens' group announced it will take the federal government to court to block changes in the appeals process for people denied Medicare benefits. Jack McDavitt, spokesman for the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, said the 4.5-million-member group will file a lawsuit against the Health Care Financing Administration to block changes that could go into effect Thursday, the start of fiscal 1988. The group began preparing the suit after the New York Times reported that the federal agency that administers Medicare plans to conduct appeal hearings over the telephone, rather than in courthouses and field offices in 130 cities across the country, as it has done for the last 22 years. The newspaper said in other cost-cutting moves, the Reagan Administration plans to hire its own administrative law judges to hear appeals rather than using judges employed by the Social Security Administration.

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