KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Reid Says Medicare Part D ‘Doughnut Hole’ Will Be Closed

CBS News: "With the clock ticking on Senate Democrats' efforts to draw up a health care bill they all can agree on before the end of the year, Senate leaders on Monday said they would commit to providing seniors with better prescription drug coverage through Medicare." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., pledged to close a gap -- known as the "doughnut hole" -- in Medicare's drug coverage. This provision is the number one priority of AARP, the powerful lobby for seniors. "Currently, Medicare beneficiaries only receive coverage for $2,700 worth of prescription drugs. Once they reach that limit, they are expected to pay for their own medicine until their expenses reach $6,154, when they start receiving coverage again." The House health reform bill closes the hole, but "the Senate, worried about the cost of its health care bill, only partially filled the gap in its bill." Reid said the hole would be closed in conference committee (Condon, 12/15). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.