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.
Earlier this week, NCCS’ CEO Shelley Fuld Nasso and Public Policy Manager Lindsay Houff hosted a Facebook Live health care policy update. They discussed legislative priorities for 2018 that impact cancer survivors and how you can help us advocate.

NCCS Facebook Live – Intro to 2018

NCCS discusses the latest health care developments and takes your questions.

Posted by National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship on Wednesday, 10 January 2018

The year has started out with several big health care proposals, so here’s a quick run down of what to keep your eye on.

Medicaid Work Requirements

On Thursday, the Trump administration released a 10-page memo outlining directions about how states can change Medicaid to include work requirements. Jane Perkins, legal director for the National Health Law Program, commented to Kaiser Health News:

“We believe that the work requirement is indeed a problem because it is not consistent with Medicaid’s objectives” to furnish medical assistance, she said. “Programs that assist people in finding and keeping work are effective, not programs that penalize them by stopping health insurance or blocking them from getting health coverage in the first place.”

NCCS is concerned about this policy’s impact on cancer patients and survivors. As Health Affairs reported last April, nearly 5 million enrollees could be at risk of losing their health insurance if a work requirement is implemented, and this includes individuals with serious health problems such as cancer. It is being reported that at least 10 states are interested in applying these work requirements, with Kentucky’s request being approved by CMS earlier today.

NCCS is concerned that work requirements will result in health care being denied to thousands of low-income people, and opposes any work requirements that do not include defined exemptions for people who cannot work due to illness, such as cancer treatment, or caregiving responsibilities. NCCS will continue to monitor these developments and their impacts on those living with cancer.

CHIP Negotiations Continue

Lawmakers also continue to debate how long to fund CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program). Democrats are pushing for a permanent reauthorization of CHIP, after a new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report said it would save the federal government $6 billion over the next decade. Republicans are considering including a funding extension of at least five years for CHIP in a stopgap spending bill to fund the government past Jan. 19. CHIP, a federal-state matching program, serves nearly nine million moderate- to low-income children, including pediatric cancer survivors. Time is of the essence, as several states report money for the program could run out in February.

Please use our hotline to contact your Representatives and ask them to fund CHIP immediately. Simply call (844) 257-6227 to be connected to your Member.

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