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MEDICARE

Insurance premiums rising $1.47 next year

Obama administration officials say they have some good election-year news for seniors.

Monthly premiums for popular Medicare Advantage insurance plans are rising by only $1.47 next year, to an average of $32.59.

The private plans often can provide the same services as traditional Medicare for a lower out-of-pocket cost, but seniors have to accept some restrictions on choice.

About 12 million Medicare recipients are in private plans. Enrollment is projected to rise by more than 1 million next year.

The news follows a recent announcement that prescription drug premiums would remain stable for the third year in a row, about $30 a month.

Because the premium numbers are averages, some people may see their costs go up. They can shop for a lower cost plan.

CAMPAIGN

Akin’s camp says new website launch a mistake

A spokesman for Rep. W. Todd Akin, a Missouri Republican running for a Senate seat, said that Tuesday’s launch of a website targeting women voters was a mistake. The campaign quickly removed the site when it was found to contain an embarrassing gaffe.

The website featured a photo with three women standing next to Mr. Akin, but one of them is a “tracker” for the Missouri Democratic Party who has been shadowing his public events for more than a year.

The mistake is especially embarrassing for the campaign, which has found itself defending the Republican lawmaker’s views on women after he prompted national outrage last month by claiming that victims of “legitimate” rape rarely become pregnant.

CAMPAIGN

Christie: Media’s focus exposes liberal bias

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