WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. Congress may consider extending the deadline for seniors to sign up for the new Medicare prescription drug benefit.
Many elderly constituents have been telling lawmakers they are having difficulty determining how to sign up for the new Medicare Part D prescription drug program, reported the Los Angeles Times Friday.
"My guess is when (Congress) comes back from Thanksgiving recess, they'll be jumping up and down to do something, because they're hearing from a lot of people who are getting heartburn trying to figure this out," said Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif.
The registration period is scheduled to end May 15. Stark favors extending it through 2006.
Seniors who do not register before May 15 face a monetary penalty in the form of higher monthly premiums for as long as they remain in the program.
The White House opposes an extension, but a test vote last month had a majority in the Senate supporting extending the deadline and postponing the penalty.