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Bonner talks healthcare in local town meeting

By By MARY-ALLISON LANCASTER – Managing editor
U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Mobile) talked about the economy, energy and health care when he brought a town meeting to East Brewton Wednesday.
He said many people are complaining about the new Medicare prescription drug coverage, adding that he's received &#8220the biggest chewing on by my mother-in-law.”
He said he believes Congress gave Medicare recipients too many choices, but is now working to get the bugs out.
Several in the audience questioned Bonner or voiced complaints about the system. Brewton pharmacist Danny Cottrell also expressed his concern.
Cottrell said the nation's independent pharmacies have served as a safety net for those who fell through the cracks and found themselves without prescription drug coverage earlier this month, especially those previously served by Medicaid. He said his pharmacy is waiting for reimbursement on more than 800 prescriptions filled.
Cottrell encouraged Bonner to consider independent pharmacies when voting on bills in the future.
Bonner said he would ask the medical profession to help Congress find savings in Medicare.
Cottrell suggested that directing more prescriptions toward generic drugs was the best way to save health care monies.
Bonner said he would continue to look for ways to cut costs, and was open to meeting with or talking with pharmacists for suggestions.
Others speaking out during the town meeting included:
Susan McBride, president of Jefferson Davis Community College, who expressed appreciation for Bonner's support of education.
Wayne Dykes, who expressed concerned about FEMA fraud and the re-sell of government-funded prescription medications.
Lee Bain, who asked if the government could operate an equipment loan program in the wake of disasters like Hurricane Katrina, loaning chainsaws and generators rather than reimbursing residents for them.