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Bush Promotes Medical Benefit for the Elderly


President Bush is urging elderly Americans to sign up for government-sponsored prescription drug benefits before a May deadline expires.

The president, in his weekly radio address Saturday, said elderly Americans can ensure the lowest monthly payments for prescription medications if they sign up before May 15.

He said the average monthly premiums are lower than expected because of increased competition among private health insurance companies offering the prescription plans.

Mr. Bush said the prescription drug benefit under Medicare, the government's medical plan for the elderly, will bring peace of mind to older Americans. He said the typical person enrolled in the plan will save more than $1,000 each year on medications.

When the program began, critics said it was too complicated. Eligible seniors must choose between a variety of plans offered by private companies.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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