WASHINGTON -- The Treasury does not want nonprofit health maintenance organizations that are forced to allow patients to go to doctors outside their network under the Clinton reform plan to be threatened with a loss of tax exemption, a Treasury official said.

The official made the comment in an interview after a House subcommittee heard a complaint that the Clinton Administration's proposed health care reform bill might force nonprofit HMOs to engage in taxable business activities that would threaten their tax-exempt status.

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