Stark Sponsors Meetings on Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit
Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) this week urged California Medicare beneficiaries to seek help from advocacy groups and counselors for questions about the Medicare prescription drug benefit, the Argus reports.
Stark, who did not vote for the drug benefit, will host meetings this Saturday to provide information about the program. Representatives from the state Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program will attend the meeting to answer beneficiaries' question about the drug benefit, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2006. Enrollment begins Nov. 15.
There are about 60 plans available to beneficiaries in Stark's congressional district, which includes Hayward, San Leandro and the Tri-City area.
Stark, in a recent flier to constituents, said he opposed passage of the drug benefit because he believed it would provide inadequate coverage. In addition, he said the program is too complicated and was designed to maximize profits for the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries (Argus, 10/20).
Two additional newspapers recently published articles on the Medicare prescription drug benefit. Headlines and links are provided below.
- "Medicare Goes on Tour: Bus Taking New Drug Plan Message Cross-Country Stops in S.J." (Sevrens Lyons, San Jose Mercury News, 10/20).
- "Medicare Offers Help for New Drug Plans" (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 10/20).