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Top federal doctors promote new Medicare drug plan

SCARBOROUGH, Maine (AP) _ The federal government's ``dream team'' of top doctors is touring New England to spread the word about Medicare prescription drug coverage that takes effect in less than six months.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt plans to make stops in Boston, Providence, Rhode Island and Albany to spread a similar message.

Mark McClellan, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, on Wednesday told seniors in Maine that the program will offer the most important new benefit in Medicare's 40-year history, providing an average of one-thousand-300 dollars next year to the typical beneficiary.

McClellan was joined by Surgeon General Richard Carmona, Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Elias Zerhouni, director of the National Institutes of Health.

The group is traveling in a multi-colored bus with a billboard that reads, ``Medicare Rx Prescription Drug Coverage.''
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