CLEVELAND - A group of physicians here has formed a speakers bureau dubbed, "The New Healthcare Law and You - Ask a Doc!" With the help of staff from the Universal Health Care Action Network (UHCAN), the doctors began fanning out across the region this spring speaking to audiences of all kinds to inform people about the changes under way and new benefits from national health reform.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), referred to by some as "Obamacare," is being implemented over several years. Although the law was enacted in March 2010 and millions of people are already experiencing some of the benefits, most people are either unaware or misinformed as to its actual provisions.
At a recent meeting of AFSCME retirees, Drs. Rochele and Nathan Beachy, husband-and-wife family practitioners, shared their view of how the ACA is a big step toward transforming "our sick care system to a health care system." They described their personal "health care horror story" about their son who developed a brain tumor in his teens and who is now able to be on their insurance policy until age 26, thanks to the ACA.
The Beachys described the positive changes the ACA is bringing about in "care, costs and quality." They said, "No one should die for lack of insurance, no one should go bankrupt for getting sick, and payments will be tied to actual improvements in health."
Attendees at the AFSCME meeting were especially interested in learning about the 24 preventive services now available with no co-pay for Medicare beneficiaries under the ACA. They were very glad to get a checklist of these services, downloaded from www.healthcare.gov, so they could make sure their insurance companies and doctors abided by these new consumer protections that are also helping keep people healthy.
Photo: Bernard Pollack // CC 2.0