US says Medicare drug plan passes 30 million goal

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The controversial U.S. Medicare prescription drug program has met the government’s goal to provide benefits to more than 30 million elderly or disabled beneficiaries, U.S. health officials said on Thursday.

Health industry analysts and government officials had been predicting that 28 million to 30 million people in the Medicare insurance program would enroll in the supplemental program that allows private companies to offer drug coverage.

“We’ve surpassed that goal,” Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt told reporters in a conference call.

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