The Affordable Care Act: What's in it for you?

The Affordable Care Act will affect almost every American

Americans held their collective breath awaiting the decision of the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare. The answer came back on June 28: the historic reform of our healthcare system was upheld as the law of the land.

Passed by Congress in 2010 amid much sound and fury, the ACA affects almost all Americans. Whether you consider healthcare reform a piñata or Pandora’s box, it is important to understand the provisions and benefits contained in the law and how it will affect you and the people you care about.

But isn’t the ACA a gazillion pages long and more confusing than Finnegan’s Wake? Actually, when devoid of political spin and focused on the provisions and protections for consumers of healthcare, i.e., all of us, the information is readily accessible.

In response to the need for accurate and understandable information, the Universal Health Care Action Network (UHCAN) and UHCAN Ohio have created a local speakers bureau of volunteer physicians, leaders of women’s organizations and other civic activists to explain and answer questions about the healthcare law.

Speakers will provide up-to-date information, answer questions about the provisions of the law, and explain how to access the benefits of the law as they are rolled out.

A number of provisions are already in place, such as allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26, banning insurance denials for pre-existing conditions and eliminating co-pays for preventive services for seniors. More changes will take effect beginning Aug. 1 and ongoing to 2014.

For women, the ACA provides many benefits, including cancer screenings, maternity care and contraceptive coverage, and prohibits gender discrimination in the cost of insurance policies. 

Speakers can tailor presentations to the specific concerns of your group. Two of the most popular presentations are:

  • “The New Healthcare Law—Ask a Doc,” in which a local physician provides  an overview of the law and its impact from his or her perspective as a health care provider, and
  • “The New Healthcare Law Has Ohio Women Covered,” in which a female speaker highlights the benefits that are most important to women and their families.

This is a unique opportunity to get the facts about the Affordable Care Act and what it offers to women, families, seniors and businesses. Consider inviting a speaker to address your organization or group, or organize your own house party  for neighbors and friends.

To request a speaker free-of-charge, or for more information, contact Rachel DeGolia at, or call 216-241-8422, ext. 14.

Jessica Schreiber

Jessica Schreiber has been a Cleveland Heights resident since 2006 and serves as Secretary on FutureHeights Board of Trustees.

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Volume 5, Issue 8, Posted 11:32 AM, 08.06.2012