Originally published on September 22, 2010 in Health Care and Tennessee Voices.
As I sit beside my 92-year-old father in his hospital bed in Kingsport, Tennessee, there are reminders all around me of why I left my job in the insurance industry to become an advocate for health-care reform — and why all Americans have reasons to be grateful that many provisions of the reform bill that became law six months ago are taking effect now.
To begin with, there is my dad himself. He must take costly medications every day. This year he and millions of other older Americans fell into the Medicare Part D "doughnut hole." They have to spend thousands of dollars for medicines they need before their drug benefit will kick back in. The new law has already begun to reduce their pharmacy expenses.