Sebelius visits pharmacy to calm Medicare fears

Republicans hold counter-rally opposed to Obama health plan

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services stopped by a CVS store on the Westside on Wednesday to promote the Affordable Care Act, but opponents of "Obamacare" were also on hand.

During a roundtable discussion at the store on San Juan Avenue, Secretary Kathleen Sebulius centered her message around Medicare, announcing plans to team up with major pharmacies including CVS, Walgreens and Wal-Mart to pass out information about the new health care law.

While at CVS, she answered questions aimed at calming the concerns from Florida seniors.

"There are no cuts to the Medicare program. No cuts. And there are additional benefits that we just outlined today, that CVS is helping seniors know about. What will happen over time is that the increases, annual increases in spending for Medicare, are likely to be slowed down a bit," said Sebulius.

It's a move, supporters of the health care law are excited about.

"I think that the affordable care act is a step in the right direction, to improve our overall health care," said Jacksonville resident Diantha Grant.

Outside the event, a group of Mitt Romney supporters protested the plan.

"I am old, and I'm afraid that when I need that hip revision, maybe I won't be able to get it, even though I'm a very vibrant, active person," said Lu Coberly. "I'm afraid of that little pill that they might hand me and say, you're too old, you're past your productive years, you can just have this pill and be comfortable and just sort of fade on out."

Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry was among those the plan opponents call "Obamacare."

"The Romney/Ryan plan strengthens Medicare, but we;re seeing the Obama administration distort that," Curry said. "We know what this is, these distortions are right out of the Democrats' playbook, chapter 101, which is called, "Mediscare," trying to scare senior citizens. But we're not going to fall for it this time," said Curry.

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