Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), cancer survivors were at the mercy of the health care system, often forced to pay exorbitant premiums or simply denied coverage altogether. Today, America’s 16 million cancer survivors benefit from the ACA’s patient protections that are critical to providing them with quality, affordable, and accessible health care coverage. NCCS is actively engaged in advocating to ensure this unprecedented access for cancer patients and providers continues.

Town Hall Events

Support for the ACA at town hall events across the country continued to make headlines this week. Throughout the recess, constituents pressed their Members of Congress to articulate specific plans around repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and shared personal stories that illustrated the need to preserve the ACA. Town hall events will continue throughout the weekend, so check to see if there is an event in your district.

Draft ACA Replacement Bill Leaked

Republicans passed a budget resolution back in January that called for major changes in the ACA, but they have yet to coalesce around a replacement plan. However, a draft reconciliation bill that outlines the GOP Obamacare replacement was leaked by Politico earlier today. The 106-page draft bill confirms many of our concerns that a Republican replacement plan will be catastrophic for cancer patients.

Sarah Kliff from outlines what this bill would do and what it would mean for sick individuals. If passed, this bill would make insurance better for people who are young and healthy and make insurance worse for people who are old and sick. And the plans for young and healthy individuals would be less expensive because they would cover much less, since this draft bill eliminates the essential health benefits and other benefits that raised the price of plans. Like other Republican plans proposed, this bill relies heavily on high risk pools, which have proven in the past to be expensive and provide inadequate coverage.

Under this proposal, states could continue to cover the Medicaid expansion population — but they would get significantly less federal funding, which could push some states to drop out of the program entirely. This proposal is likely to cause more rift among the Republican party as support for Medicaid expansion grows among Republican Governors and Members of Congress. Senator Murkowski (R-AK) said she would not vote to repeal the expanded Medicaid health care program, which is a key component of the ACA. Republican Governors like John Kasich are also speaking out in support of the expansion. Cancer patients often rely on Medicaid to help pay for the enormous costs of treatment and care.

Without the ACA or Medicaid Expansion, cancer patients could be left without access to quality and affordable health care. We need to share stories with Members of Congress from people who benefited from Medicaid. If you or someone you know had Medicaid coverage for cancer treatment, please share your story with us.

The biggest takeaway from this leaked draft bill is that it does not come close to providing the coverage that the ACA does. This legislation would not provide adequate or affordable coverage to sick individuals and is therefore not acceptable for cancer patients and survivors.

Call your Members of Congress today to let them know the ACA is critical for cancer patients and must not be repealed.
Learn more about the ACA including tips for contacting your lawmakers »