Republican Senator Charles Grassley’s shooting back at his democrat opponent over those new prescription drug discount cards for the elderly. Art Small, the democrat who’s stepped forward to challenge Grassley in the fall, says the cards aren’t worth much to most of America’s elderly who’re on Medicare.Grassley says “it’s just a little bit irritating” and he sees a “conspiracy” among democrats to “bad mouth the program and discourage participation.” Grassley says now that the prices of the drugs are posted on the Internet, people can compare prices very easily and some prescription costs are coming down as a result. Other critics say elderly are confused by all the drug discount cards available and haven’t been signing up.Grassley says four million Americans have already signed up for the program in its first five weeks of operation and that’s higher participation than the democrat-led effort eight years ago to get poor parents to sign up for health care coverage for their kids. Small has said the discount drug cards are valuable for the very poorest Americans since there’s a subsidy attached. Grassley says about 84-thousand Iowans have a low enough income that they qualify for a 12-hundred dollar subsidy to pay for their prescriptions. Grassley says partisan politics shouldn’t get in the way of securing help for low-income Iowans. Small said last week that since Grassley’s one of the major architects of the prescription drug benefit plan, he should be held accountable for its failings. About 350-thousand elderly Iowans are on Medicare, and can obtain the drug discount cards. There are no stats available on how many Iowans have already gotten a discount card.
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