Views Differ on Medicare Drug Benefit
San Joaquin Valley seniors' opinions about the new Medicare drug benefit appear to "vary with the congressional district," the Fresno Bee reports.
According to federal records, more than 60% of eligible seniors in most of the San Joaquin Valley have enrolled in the benefit. And while a spokesperson for Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Visalia), Taylor Amstutz, said the number of complaints received about the program could be counted "on one hand," Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Merced) said the "angst and anger is pretty bad."
Ministers in black churches in south Stockton have circulated petitions "[s]howcasing the frustration" with the benefit, and they want Cardoza to deliver the petitions to the White House. Cardoza and Rep. Jim Costa (D-Fresno) also have signed a so-called discharge petition to force a full House vote on legislation that would grant seniors another year to enroll in prescription drug plans without incurring a penalty (Doyle, Fresno Bee, 3/1).
Additional information on the Medicare drug benefit is available online.