The Medicare Mess

George Bush and his G.O.P. allies in Congress thought the Medicare prescription-drug benefit they enacted last December would take a key issue away from the Democrats and entice millions of seniors to vote Republican this November. Instead, the legislation is fast becoming "an albatross around our necks," a G.O.P. Congressman tells TIME. "It's not playing very well with seniors." Surveys indicate that the elderly are confused about the complicated prescription-drug benefits--which don't fully kick in until 2006--in the nearly 700-page law and are skeptical that drug costs will be lowered. Now questions about how the bill was pushed through Congress could...

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