NCCS’ Cancer Policy & Advocacy Team (CPAT)
members Jen Campisano and Ben Fishman wrote a powerful op-ed for STAT News
. Both diagnosed with cancer in their early thirties, they each have endured well over a million dollars in surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy to treat their illness. Without the preexisting conditions and lifetime limit protections in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), they and many others like them, would be forced to choose between treatment or financial ruin.
President-elect Donald Trump and the GOP supposedly intend to keep the provision of the ACA that guarantees health insurance coverage to those with preexisting conditions. But without a replacement plan on record, there is no way to determine whether any so-called guarantee would provide them with equal and affordable coverage.
Specifically, individuals like us are wary that a replacement plan may force insurers to cover everyone but let them create other mechanisms that limit coverage for those most in need, such as imposing annual or lifetime maximums that would cap total expenses paid by insurance plans. The costs of our treatment illustrate why this is a dangerous proposition for many people with preexisting conditions.