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10/30/03.MEDICARE CONFERENCE--House ranking Democrat Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., followed by other Democrats and a swarm of reporters, leaves the hall where Chairman Bill Thomas, R-Calif., hosts the Medicare conference in his hideaway. Thomas would not allow Rangel, who is a member of the conference, and others to attend, even though at least two Democratic senators are regular participants in negotiations..CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY PHOTO BY SCOTT J. FERRELL

10/30/03.MEDICARE CONFERENCE--House ranking Democrat Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., followed by other Democrats and a swarm of reporters, leaves the hall where Chairman Bill Thomas, R-Calif., hosts the Medicare conference in his hideaway. Thomas would not allow Rangel, who is a member of the conference, and others to attend, even though at least two Democratic senators are regular participants in negotiations..CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY PHOTO BY SCOTT J. FERRELL

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