Donut Hole Explained

Chuck Sheketoff

Finally, something in plain English that explains the donut hole.

As noted by our friends at the Campaign for America's Future:

* Nearly seven million seniors will fall into the doughnut hole.

* Many seniors simply can't afford their medications after they fall into the donut hole. The donut hole literally puts their lives at risk.

* Conservatives' focus on privatizing healthcare created a program that was costly and confusing, when a simple government solution existed.

* By privatizing healthcare, conservatives sold out America's seniors.

* Conservative corruption exacerbated the Part D disaster.

* They inserted a provision that actually forbid Medicare from negotiating for lower drug prices.

* It makes no sense to create a law that mandates Americans overpay for anything. Yet that's precisely what conservatives did with prescription drugs under Part D.

* It's time to eliminate the donut hole and replace Part D with a plan that's simple, cost-effective and guaranteed.

  • KISS (unverified)

    I just hated AARP when they supported this outrageous plan. The people on Medicaid were hit with co-pays, albeit small for those with money, that cut deeply into their pockets. The alcoholic weasel is waiting to again push for privatizing Social Security, after the elections, and the results will devastate the poor and lower-middle class. The new legalization on buying Meds in Canada has a neat little proviso in the package: you must go to Canada for your medicines. No E mail or postal delivery..still against the law. This little prick, in the #1 spot of power, has a craze to mutilate and harm anyone who is not in the top economic class. His agenda hasn't changed, he is waiting till the Grey-hairs have voted before taking them the guillotine of economic chaos. You know what is so sad? The god-fearing religious class are applauding him; just maybe he is the anti-Christ. Or has Caligula been re-incarnated?

  • YoungOregonVoter (unverified)

    How is a $3000 deductible for seniors any different than a $3000 deductible for working Americans with high deductible health insurance coverage? Second, at least seniors get $2000 in prescription coverage from the Feds. Federalism alive and well in the states is it so hard to ask for the states to pay where the Feds leave off? Finally, how are your prospects for the viability of Medicare and Social Security once the Baby Boomers start retiring within the next 2 decades?

  • KISS (unverified)

    What I like about Republicans is their warmth and thoughtful compassion. Our prince of darkness in the white house can spend Bazillions feeding haliburtons and like, but you republicans don't believe in health care or social security for our citizens. Talk about crass stupidity. from AlderNet "The rest of the industrialized world gets universal health care. The U.S. gets limited access at a far higher cost. It's time for Americans to get the health care system they want, and the savings that go with it." For rest of article I suggest you read Hey here's a grand idea, tax the rich and let corporations pay an import tax on goods they make over seas.

  • Dan (unverified)

    As a social worker working with people with disabilities who has had to deal with this new program, there are a couple of things that were left off of your list quick stats: 1. People who receive both Medicare and Medicaid were the first forced into the new Medicare Part D coverage. Remember Medicaid is a program for low income people. Up to January 1 of this year, these folks had there meds 100% covered. After January 1, these folks had to start paying $1 to $5 co-pays for each medication they were on per month. While most of these individuals qualify for a program called the Low Income Subsidy and don’t pay monthly premiums and don’t have to worry about the doughnut hole, people trying to survive on $550 or so dollars per month (as many of my clients are) even a low co-pay forces tough choices and the possibility of choosing between meds and some other necessity especially when you consider that some of these folks are on multiple medications to assist with the issues associated with their disabilities. 2. Everyone who doesn’t sign up for a prescription plan when they are eligible will face higher premiums for the rest of their lives. The longer they wait to sign up, the bigger the penalty. I think it is a reasonable assumption to make that this provision is basically to make this more profitable to the insurers.

    Also, in response to YoungOregonVoter, there were some provisions to forbid the states from picking up some out of the out of pocket costs that some people have to pay. No idea what the logic was there.

    The best quote I've heard on this whole thing is that this is a big government program created by people who hate big government programs. And it shows.

  • John (unverified)

    I found an interesting site for comparing drug prices - It's called and a great source for comparing drug prices from Canadian and US based online pharmacies. I tried it - its very easy to use and free and it even allows you to compare prices. When I looked up the price for my drug I was able to save 34%.

  • Claudia (unverified)

    Question: What exactly is the "donut hole"? I'm a professional translator and have to translate a text from English into German where this term is mentioned - and it clearly refers to healthcare.

    Any explanations are appreciated.

    Thanks a lot


  • Dickey45 (unverified)

    Off topic, but we were able to save about 60% buying drugs for our dog from Canada (with prescription). And it was quite easy. Even worse, we got Advantage for St. Bernards on ebay from England at about 1/6th the cost. All you have to do is dose it to your dog's weight.

  • djk (unverified)

    The one good thing I can see to this boondoggle ...

    The Republicans have now signed off on the principle that the federal government should pay for prescription drugs for the poor and the elderly. AND they have allocated way more money than is really needed for a much more efficient and effective program.

    Now it's just a matter of taking the money we're already spending and being smarter about how we spend it. That's a much easier sell than pushing a new "big government program" in the first place. A winning issue for Democrats if they have the guts to run with it...

  • MATT DAMON (unverified)
    <h2>Marion Berry Kicks A$$!</h2>

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