Time to (re)make the donuts

  • by: |
  • 07/27/2006

Let me add to Dr. Bob’s comments (see below).

As long ago as May 23 (gee whiz — a whole two months + three days ago), the anti Part-D-ites(aka: the gang that couldn’t enroll straight) was flacking a Commonwealth-sponsored study that claimed that 38% of those enrolled in Part D would fall into the abyss of the donut hole. Now that the generally accepted number is below 10%, I am shocked, just shocked that the headline in USA today read “More patients fall into a hole in drug benefit.”

Call me naive (my wife does), but I was sorta looking forward to something more like, “Initial estimates of donut hole victims cut by three-quarters.”

Dr. Bob asks why more of these folks (and in particular the folks profiled in the USA Today story) didn’t sign up for a policy that covered donut hole expenses. Part of the answer is that during the sign-up period, many pundits, pols, and special interest groups were actively peddling incorrect information about both the process and the various available plans. I did many radio call-in shows during the sign-up period, and I can attest that there was a lot of misinformation being purposely promulgated by those who wanted to hold down the volume of Part D enrollment.

One of these mistruths was that “there is no plan that will cover the donut hole.” And I heard it repeated again and again.

Shame. Shame. Shame.

But there is some sweet jelly in the middle of the donut. As USA Today did manage to report, “A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll in April, however, found voters by 2-to-1 were more likely to back members of Congress who voted for the prescription-drug law.”


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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