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Pickering updates seniors on health care legislation

By By Lynette Wilson / staff writer
Oct. 13, 2002
U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering told senior citizens Saturday that a $350 million Medicare prescription drug bill that has passed the House will not pass the Senate this year.
Pickering visited Aldersgate Retirement Community Saturday to talk with senior citizens about Medicare, Social Security and prescription drugs.
He said the Medicare Modernization and Prescription Drug Act would make it possible for 55 percent of Mississippi's seniors to pay $2 and $5 prescription co-pays, with no monthly premium or deductible.
The rest of the state's seniors would pay a $35 premium and have a $250 deductible.
The Senate will take up the bill again early next year, in its first session of 2003.
A hot topic for seniors at the meeting was prescription drug coverage and Pickering fielded questions from people addressing him simply as "Chip."
Earl Kidd, 82, said Pickering's visit was informative.
Pickering, who serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on health, said he's seen his parents care for his grandparents and is now, with the help of his sisters, caring for his own parents.
Asked whether all of her questions had been answered, resident Gloria Tubb, said "not quite."
Tubb said she hasn't decided whether she will vote for Pickering or U.S. Rep. Ronnie Shows on Nov. 5.
Pickering, a Republican, represents the current 3rd Congressional District. Shows, a Democrat represents the current 4th District. The two incumbents were placed in the same district when Mississippi lost one of its five congressional seats.
Pickering and Shows face off in their last debate before the November election in Meridian on Oct. 23.