KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Democrats Stress ‘Doughnut Hole’ Provisions To Woo Senior Support For Reform

The Associated Press: "Lawmakers have wooed seniors skeptical of the health care overhaul by emphasizing the plan would close the 'doughnut hole' - a gap in Medicare drug coverage that can cost thousands of dollars a year. But getting support for the entire overhaul from this powerful voting bloc has been difficult, despite Democrats repeated town hall meetings, interviews and congressional hearings." The doughnut hole was designed to reduce the overall cost of Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit. "An estimated 3.4 million seniors fall into it each year. Most people never see the other side of the doughnut hole. They simply wait for New Year's Day. The House health care bill would close the gap gradually until it's eliminated in 2022." Some seniors have been wary of the legislation, but Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., says the doughnut hole has helped increase support. (Sedensky, 12/4). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.