Medicare for Meds?

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The perceived hallmark of this revamped program is drug coverage for Medicare and Medicaid recipients. The neediest of seniors could pay as little as $2.00 for prescriptions. Local physician David Avery believes that's the good that balances out the bad.

“If someone has a plan that pays for all their prescriptions, and they cut that plan out because of Medicare, it will hurt those people. But I see a lot more people here who don't have coverage for their medicines, and if they get some coverage, it will help them,” says David Avery.

While some seniors believe there's good and bad in this bill, the loudest of them are very much against it, and it's the loudest people who may make their voices known next November.

Marjorie Harper says, “It's going to cut out the middle class; the ones who have a little bit of money. That's how it always is.”

Jackie Matthews adds, “I'm going to be stuck not being able to buy any of my medications, or taking them every other day, or not taking them at all.”

The American Association of Retired Persons was a backer of this bill. Matthews says she plans to cancel her AARP membership. While seniors can bet a drug discount card as early as next year, the prescription coverage won't begin until 2006.