Medicare Drugs

As President Bush continues to urge seniors to sign up for the new Medicare drug coverage, congressional Democrats are pushing for an extension of next Monday's deadline.

They say the elderly shouldn't be rushed into such an important decision and that many don't realize they'll pay a penalty if they miss the deadline.

The president, who is winding up a two-day trip to Florida, has rejected pleas for an extension, saying "deadlines are important."

The president's aggressive promotion of the Medicare benefit, and his refusal to push back the deadline, may be as much about politics as policy.

The White House and congressional Republicans hope the early glitches and the confusing signup process will be distant memories by the fall midterm elections.

They hope to benefit from helping Medicare recipients deal with drug costs.