AARP members want Congress to address Medicare doughnut hole
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06/12/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday | Listen to this entire show:

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 Young’s office, in order to press him to help address the co-called ‘doughnut hole’ 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 “doughnut hole.” 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 D’s “catastrophic coverage” pays most of the cost of one’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 she’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.

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