Democrat Senator Tom Harkin says the changes President Bush’s proposes in the government program that provides health care for the elderly won’t work in a prodominantly rural state like Iowa.Harkin says the President’s proposal is the “latest attempt by the Republican Party to destroy Medicare.” Harkin says the Bush plan tries to “coerce” seniors into H-M-Os. The elderly wouldn’t get prescription drug coverage through Medicare unless they join an H-M-O. Harkin says that’s a “devil’s bargain” and he will oppose any effort to force Iowa seniors to make that choice. Harkin cites a report by the group “Public Citizen” which found many elderly Iowans in rural Iowa would have to change doctors if the President’s plan goes through. Harkin says five years ago, seniors were given the option of signing up for an H-M-O through Medicare, and only 11 percent have done so. Harkin says that shows America’s seniors don’t want to “privatize” Medicare.
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