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
Vastag B. Medicare Campaign Probed. JAMA. 2004;291(10):1190. doi:10.1001/jama.291.10.1190-c