Medicare ‘Doughnut Hole’ Criticized
Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), a Democratic candidate for the Senate, and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) on Tuesday in a conference call requested a solution to the so-called "doughnut hole," or gap in Medicare prescription drug coverage, under which drug plans will cover most costs up to $2,250 but nothing between $2,250 and $5,100, the Dayton Daily News reports. The conference call was arranged by Americans United for Change.
Brown said, "Most seniors didn't expect this to happen. It's a bit of a cruel hoax that they continue to pay the premium and get little to nothing for it but have to keep paying the premium for one month or two months or however long it takes to work their way through the doughnut hole." Brown added, "I think the public understands more and more that the government is not on their side" (Wehrman, Dayton Daily News, 8/3).
Stabenow said that she believes the coverage gap will "be a driving force" among seniors in the November elections (Jaffe et al., Cleveland Plain Dealer, 8/2).
Mike Dawson -- spokesperson for Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio), Brown's opponent -- said that Congress included the gap because seniors otherwise would have had to pay more in upfront costs (Dayton Daily News, 8/3).