Medicare and the provision of susbidised prescription drugs to senior citizens is the chosen battleground for an advertising battle fought by presidential candidates George Bush and Al Gore.

Both sides clearly see these voter issues as key to the forthcoming election. The first fusillade was fired this weekend by the Bush campaign and the Republican National Committee, with TV spots promising to preserve Medicare and ensure that any needy senior citizens get "affordable" prescription drugs.

The Democrats counter-attacked yesterday with ads alleging that Mr Bush, Republican Governor of Texas, currently "leaves millions of seniors with no prescription-drug coverage." The spots run in exactly the same states as the Bush campaign airings.

Later Democrat ads, breaking today, will accuse the Governor of forcing seniors "to go to HMOs and insurance companies" and of "siding with the big drug companies."

News source: Wall Street Journal