Saturday, February 12, 2005

Democrats Call for Medicare Drug Inquiry

Democratic lawmakers seized on news yesterday that the Medicare prescription drug benefit will cost much more than first projected, blasting the Bush administration and saying it cannot be trusted to acknowledge the likely costs of its priorities, including revisions to Social Security.
In hearings, speeches and interviews, Democrats said the sharply higher Medicare cost estimate is a matter of credibility, not bookkeeping quibbles, and they wielded it as a new weapon in their bid to prevent President Bush from converting a portion of Social Security payroll taxes to personal accounts. Some House and Senate Democrats called for a congressional investigation into the hard-fought 2003 Medicare prescription drug battle, in which an administration official said he was pressured to keep long-term cost estimates hidden from lawmakers.

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