GOP Lawmakers Hold Town Meetings on New Medicare Law in Districts of Democratic Lawmakers
Democratic spokespeople said that they are "unfazed and a bit amused" that Republican senators and representatives are holding town meetings about the new Medicare discount drug plan in the congressional districts of Democrats who voted against the law, CQ Weekly reports (Carey, CQ Weekly, 6/5). House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) on Tuesday held a meeting in Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee's (D-Texas) Houston-area district, and they are encouraging other congressional Republicans to do the same in other Democratic districts (California Healthline, 5/27). Jackson-Lee voted against the law. Some Republicans say Democrats are either unwilling to talk about the discount program with their constituents or they present it to seniors in a bad light. DeLay spokesperson Jonathan Grella said, "It's just a matter of educating seniors. We're going to pick up the slack." Jackson-Lee, who held meetings with constituents about Medicare in April and May, said, "No one can overcome the fact that the discount is erratic, it is a roller-coaster." She added that seniors expressed "a great deal of alarm" about the weekly changes in drug prices in the discount program (CQ Weekly, 6/5).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.