AARP members want Congress to address Medicare doughnut hole listen06/12/09 Mitch E. Perry
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A couple of volunteers for the AARP made a visit to the St. Petersburg District office of Pinellas area Congressman C.W. Bill Young today.
They brought doughnut holes to Youngâ€™s office, in order to press him to help address the co-called â€˜doughnut holeâ€™ gap in coverage in the Medicare prescription drug benefit.
In that program, once drug costs reach certain levels, hundreds of thousands of older Floridians fall into the â€œdoughnut hole.â€ At that point, Medicare beneficiaries must pay the full cost of prescriptions until they have laid out $4,350 in qualified costs (not all drug costs qualify). After that, Part Dâ€™s â€œcatastrophic coverageâ€ pays most of the cost of oneâ€™s prescriptions.
Lois Harron is the former Florida State President of the AARP, and is a longtime volunteer With the organization.
President Obama and many members of Congress are working hard this summer on getting health care reform, though details of the plan are still a long way off. WMNF asked former Florida AARP President Lois Harron is if sheâ€™s concerned that addressing the so-called Donut hole, is low on the priorities of those legislator composing the new legislation?
According to the Congressional Budget Office, closing the gap in prescription drug coverage would cost $134 billion over 10 years. But experts say that as much as $110 billion could be raised by requiring drug manufacturers to give Medicare the same 15 percent discount they now give Medicaid, the health insurance program for low-income Americans.