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Capitol Health Call
March 10, 2004

Medicare Campaign Probed

JAMA. 2004;291(10):1190. doi:10.1001/jama.291.10.1190-c

The General Accounting Office (GAO) is looking into a series of direct mailings and television, radio, and print advertisements promoting Medicare prescription benefit legislation that passed last year.

The campaign, slated to cost $22 million, had just gotten off the ground when Democratic members of Congress began calling for the investigation. Critics of the advertisements—including the National Taxpayers Union, the Alliance for Retired Americans, and many Democratic lawmakers—characterized the advertisements as reelection-year propaganda from the Bush administration. Several lawmakers charge that the campaign may constitute a violation of federal laws prohibiting government funding for presidential candidate "publicity or propaganda."

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