Bush administration airs ads touting Medicare law

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The Bush administration began to air a 30-second ad Tuesday on network and cable television -- a two-month $9.5 million endeavor to ratchet public support for the revised Medicare law and counteract Democratic criticism.

The ad spot is part of an aggressive campaign by the administration and Republicans to promote legislation that already has become law, reports the Washington Post. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson told the Post the ad is accurate.

The ad depicts four older actors who ask whether the law will save them money and allow them to continue getting funding from the original, fee-for-service part of the program, to which 90% of Medicare patients belong.

The ads began airing as Democrats and some conservative Republicans vowed to rewrite the law. The White House is now saying the bill will cost $134 billion more than originally cited by Congress.