Paul G. has been involved with health care his entire life. He has a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy and master’s degree in health administration, and as a retiree at age 67, a lifetime of experience. He is also one of 185,014 million Ohioans caught in Medicare’s “donut hole,” and helped by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
As a result of pharmaceutical lobbyists and Congress cutting corners, seniors whose prescription drugs cost between $2,830 and $6,440 yearly received zero coverage from Medicare before the ACA was passed.
That’s where Paul found himself in 2009, before the ACA passed.
“I’m not a wealthy man, and all of a sudden my copayments quadrupled, and I was paying the total cost of my medicines. I lost all of my discretionary spending.”
Paul currently suffers from high blood pressure, a fast heartbeat and trouble sleeping, and he takes around 6 different prescription drugs a week. Paying out of pocket for those medicines meant he had significantly less money to spend in his hometown of Middletown, Ohio—depriving the local economy of much needed business.
Thanks to the shrinking of the donut hole, folks like Paul are seeing relief, and by the year 2020, the donut hole will be closed for good.
Before retiring, Paul worked in a nursing home, where residents were regularly unable to afford all of the medication they needed—forcing them to choose which medications to pay for out-of-pocket.
“As seniors, we can never save enough. We have to make decisions on what we can and can't afford and what we can and can’t save. With the donut hole gone, we’ll be able to afford our medicine. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I saved $500 last year."
The closing of the donut hole meant so much to Paul that he got involved with the 2012 Obama campaign here in Ohio. He has a simple message to those who would undo our progress:
“I feel that [repealing the ACA would be] a total insult to people who are in the middle-class who have worked hard their entire life to get the benefits we have in America. It's like you don't count anymore. I want to stand up and say we do count.”
Now Paul is a phone bank captain in Middletown, and as you might imagine, he’s great at letting folks know how the ACA helps them.