Shea-Porter Leads Effort to Fully Eliminate "Donut Hole" In Final Health Care Bill

Washington, DC Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter is leading an effort to ensure that the final version of the health care bill will fully eliminate the Medicare Part D “Donut Hole.” In a letter to Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, and Majority Leader Hoyer, Shea-Porter wrote, “ Given the significant financial impact on our seniors and the widespread support for the complete elimination of the donut hole, we respectfully urge the retention of the House language in the final health care reform bill.  Shea-Porter was joined by more than 50 of her House colleagues on the letter.

Many of our seniors are living on fixed incomes, and it is shameful that some are being forced to pay hundreds of extra dollars because they fall into the Medicare Donut Hole,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “I have met countless seniors across New Hampshire who have told me that they have a difficult time buying groceries because of the cost of their prescription drugs. This is unacceptable. We must work together to close the donut hole and provide our seniors with access to the health care they need.” 

 

A full copy of the letter is below.

 

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi                                                 

Speaker                                                                                  

U.S. House of Representatives                                              

H-232 The Capitol                                                                 

Washington, D.C. 20515                                                       

The Honorable Harry Reid

Majority Leader

U.S. Senate

S-221 The Capitol

Washington, D.C.  20515

The Honorable Steny Hoyer

Majority Leader

U.S. House of Representatives

H-107 The Capitol

Washington, D.C. 20515

 

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, and Majority Leader Hoyer:

We write today to express our strong support for the Medicare Part D prescription-drug benefit language included in the House-passed health care reform legislation. Fully eliminating the Medicare Part D donut hole is of critical importance and we respectfully urge that the House language be retained in the final legislation.

The House language makes an important commitment to our seniors by fully eliminating the donut hole. Senior citizens, many of whom are living on fixed-incomes, often face financial hardship due to unreasonably high medical costs -- a hardship that is exacerbated by the donut hole. Closing this coverage gap will mean significant and much-needed relief for the millions of Americans who rely on Medicare Part D.

While we applaud the Senates efforts to shrink the donut hole in 2010, it would not be completely eliminated. The House language provides for similar immediate relief, but continues to make additional progress in the following years until the coverage gap is fully closed in 2019. Efforts to partially alleviate the financial burden caused by the gap are important, but they must be accompanied by a long-term approach that provides for the complete elimination of the donut hole. The House-passed language achieves precisely that.

Given the significant financial impact on our seniors and the widespread support for the complete elimination of the donut hole, we respectfully urge the retention of the House language in the final health care reform bill.