The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship joined 13 other leading national health and disability organizations to submit to the Supreme Court an amicus brief supporting the minimum coverage provision of the Affordable Care Act. In the “friend of the Court” brief, NCCS and its colleagues argued that the minimum coverage provision of the law, or individual mandate, falls within the authority of Congress to regulate interstate commerce and is constitutional.

In the brief, lead counsel Rachel Bobroff of the National Senior Citizens Law Center argued that there have been “disastrous results” in states that have enacted insurance reforms requiring insurers to cover those with pre-existing conditions without also enacting a minimum coverage provision requiring purchase of insurance coverage. Without a minimum coverage provision, the brief demonstrates, premiums in states that have enacted insurance reforms have rapidly escalated beyond the reach of many consumers. In some of those states, insurers have exited the individual market altogether.

The insurance reform provisions of the Affordable Care Act, including the limits on pre-existing condition exclusions, offer important protections to cancer survivors. NCCS supports the Affordable Care Act for the insurance access it will provide to survivors and joined its colleagues on the brief to advance the interests of survivors before the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court has scheduled three days of oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act, from March 26 to 28, 2012, during which it will hear arguments on the individual mandate and other provisions of the Act. The decision of the Court is expected in June 2012.

Other organizations signing the amicus brief included American Association of People with Disabilities, the ARC of the United States, Breast Cancer Action, Families USA, Friends of Cancer Research, March of Dimes Foundation, National Breast Cancer Coalition, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, National Health Law Program, National Organization for Rare Diseases, National Senior Citizens Law Center, National Women’s Health Network, Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, and Voices for America’s Children.