A group of House Republicans introduced legislation to delay implementation of major provisions of Medicare's new catastrophic illness protections, including a controversial income tax surcharge. Rep. Harris W. Fawell (R-Ill.), who instigated the legislation, acknowledged an uphill fight in getting the measure considered by the full House. However, the Ways and Means Committee must send the measure to the floor if a majority of House members--218--sign a petition demanding such action. The Fawell bill, which has 25 sponsors, is identical to a measure by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that failed to pass the Senate by one vote. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Lloyd Bentsen (D-Tex.) has scheduled hearings to consider reducing the surtax, which could be as much as $800 this year for upper-income people over 65.