One of the immediate benefits of the Affordable Care Act is assistance to seniors with high drug costs. Seniors who fall into the Medicare prescription drug “donut hole” coverage gap this year will receive a tax-free $250 rebate check and next year there is a 50% discount on brand-name prescription drugs in the donut hole (and the hole is completely closed by 2019).
These checks are being mailed out every couple of weeks and as of last week, more than 1.8 million seniors have received the $250 rebate check. It is estimated that by the end of the year about 4 million seniors will have received the check nationwide.
The Energy & Commerce Committee has released district-by-district data on how many seniors have received their rebate checks. In Speaker Pelosi’s district, 2,950 seniors have already received $737,500 to help pay their high drug costs.
Congressional Republicans created the donut hole—leaving thousands of seniors to choose between buying the prescriptions they need and putting food on the table—and now they are trying to repeal the reforms that close it. Under the Republican repeal plan, 3,250 seniors in Leader Boehner’s district who have received $812,500 to help pay their high drug costs would get nothing.