July 16, 2003 – Via teleconference hook-up between St. Croix and St. Thomas, Delegate Donna M. Christensen will conduct a "town hall" meeting on Saturday on the potential impact of a plan for senior citizens before Congress relating to prescription drugs and Medicare coverage.
The two-hour meeting, set to begin at 10 a.m., will take place on the two University of the Virgin Islands campuses with audiovisual communication between the two sites.
On St. Thomas, the meeting is scheduled for Chase Auditorium, Room B110 of the Business Administration Building at the top of the hill on the north side of the campus. On St. Croix, it will be held in Room EC401 (the theater) of the Melvin Evans Center, the main classroom building.
The presentation is part of a National Day of Prescription Drug Town Hall Meetings being held by Democratic members of Congress, according to a release from Christensen's office. One of the main focuses is on the Bush administration's health-care plan for seniors.
According to Christensen's release, passage of the Republican plan "could leave seniors, especially those living in rural areas like the Virgin Islands, without any coverage and with high prescription prices."
The delegate, a physician who practiced family medicine before being elected to Congress, said she had hoped for "a prescription drug benefit that began soon, was uncomplicated, easy to access, as cheap as possible, and that allowed for the best medicine to be individualized to the patient's need."
A good plan, she said, would subsidize poor patients, have no gaps in coverage and keep Medicare as a central program. "The GOP plan does not reflect that," she said, "and it is important that senior citizens in the Virgin Islands are informed and can be armed to continue the fight until they get what they need."
The meeting is free and open to the public. Christensen will make her presentation on St. Croix. Denyce Singleton of the AARP will moderate the meeting from St. Thomas.
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