Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Bush Approval Ratings Drop - 33%


Why the hell is the moron smiling? His poll numbers have dropped again. Bush Approval Falls to 33%, Congress Earns Rare Praise. He seems oblivious as he tries to sell the lie to seniors that his Medicare Prescription Plan is a good thing.
Bush Prescribes Family Help on Drug Plan
Faced with a persistent questioner who asked him what could be done to help her elderly mother understand Medicare's new prescription drug plan, President Bush offered a suggestion that at first elicited shocked gasps, and then supportive applause, from an audience of retirees in Silver Spring yesterday.
"Look, I'm not going to tell you your business, but I think it's your responsibility to help your mom," Bush told Wendy Meyeroff. She had asked him to consider extending the May 15 deadline for registering for the new benefit without a penalty, but Bush refused.
"No," he said. "And the reason why is there's got to be a fixed time for people to sign up."

Bush conducted a town hall meeting at Riderwood Village, a retirement community of 2,300 people that straddles the border dividing Montgomery and Prince George's counties, to encourage seniors to learn about the 10-week-old plan, and he promised that it would save many of them money.
...
Meyeroff's remarks about the difficulty of helping her ill, 75-year-old mother sign up for the benefit echoed criticism about the program from health care advocates and many seniors. "The thought of doing it is good, but the manner in which it's being carried out is not," said Doris Terry, a retired health education specialist, as she waited for Bush to arrive in a Riderwood hall draped in black and decorated with signs reading "Strengthening Medicare.""It's too complex," Terry said.

Rather than offer a plan directly from Medicare, the government's Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services contracts with private insurers to provide the coverage. Most seniors have dozens of plans from which to choose. Those who decide after May 15 will pay an extra premium of 1 percent for every month they wait.

In his remarks before a room full of cameras and about 300 retirees, Bush conceded that there has been confusion but defended the profusion of options that the program offers. "With more choices to choose from, you can better design a program that meets your needs," he said.

Maryland Democrats used Bush's presence as an opportunity to attack the plan. "Unfortunately, this prescription drug program is helping America's seniors the way the federal government helped the victims of Hurricane Katrina," Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said at a rally in Silver Spring sponsored by an advocacy group.
...
Audience member Alan Mayers, a retired federal worker, said Bush's answer didn't account for seniors who don't have help from a child. "I think that was a little bit heartless, but consistent with the general approach of the administration toward safety nets," he said.

Gee, I wonder who helps Bar with her prescription plan? Oh, that's right, she's incredibly wealthy and doesn't have to deal with it.

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