PAN Grassroots Leader Participates in Senate Press Event

Connecticut Assistant State Director Steve DeWitte spoke at a press conference about two critical provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for people with Parkinson’s disease during PAN’s 2014 Leadership Forum. Steve was invited by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) to participate in a press event highlighting some of the ACA’s benefits for people with chronic conditions. Specifically, Steve spoke about the importance of closing the Medicare Part D coverage gap, also known as the donut hole, and the provision that prevents insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.

The ACA gradually phases out the Medicare Part D donut hole while adding subsidies designed to reduce the percentage of out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries. Steve noted that while he’s been “fortunate to never face the Medicare prescription drug donut hole, I have friends who are forced to make difficult choices between maintaining their health or basic family necessities,” adding that closing the coverage gap is a “huge relief for me and others with chronic conditions who must rely on expensive prescription drugs.”

While urging Members of Congress to continue to support the ACA’s protection for people with pre-existing conditions, Steve closed with a powerful statement about the need to strengthen access to quality and affordable health care, particularly for those in the greatest need.

“I and my family didn’t choose this disease – nor did millions of other Americans with chronic conditions.”

Date originally posted:  February 28, 2014.