Democrats want longer prescription drug enrollment period

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Democratic lawmakers are pushing hard for an extension of the Medicare Part D enrollment deadline. They are arguing that seniors need more time to understand the program and make thoughtful choices.

The enrollment period commenced this week and extends to May 15, 2006. Democrats want to extend the deadline to Dec. 31, 2006.

Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) this week went to the Senate floor to ask for unanimous consent to bring a measure regarding the delay from the Finance Committee and before the Senate immediately. Republicans objected.

A recent study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health reported that 60% of beneficiaries said they did not understand the benefit very well or at all.