The quest for health care has been one obstacle after another for many older Americans who lost jobs during the recession. They're unwanted by employers, rejected by insurers, struggling to cover rising medical costs and praying to reach Medicare age before a health crisis.
These people have emerged as early winners under the nation's new health insurance system. Older Americans have been signing up for coverage in large numbers. And, with insurance card in hand, they've been visiting doctor's offices and filling prescriptions at pharmacies.
Americans ages 55 to 64 make up 31 percent of new enrollees in the new health insurance marketplaces, the largest segment by age group, according to the latest figures. They represent a glimmer of success for President Barack Obama's beleaguered law.