NCCS is actively engaged in advocating to ensure access to quality, affordable health insurance for cancer patients and providers. As Congress considers repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we will provide regular updates on the potential proposals and what they mean for cancer survivors.

Several developments occurred in the past week regarding Congressional efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Most importantly, there remains no consensus among Republicans around a replacement plan. In fact, more replacement proposals were presented, and after NCCS analyzed these proposals, we found that they do not come close to the level of protections the ACA provides currently and are therefore not adequate for cancer survivors. While some replacement plans would retain nominal protections for people with pre-existing conditions, we are concerned that the plans would be unaffordable.

Although these proposals are works in progress, we know that the concepts behind them are not in the best interests of cancer patients and survivors.
Senator Rand Paul introduced a replacement bill which would create a health care market that would rely on high-risk pools, health savings accounts, and would allow states to determine their involvement in the insurance marketplace. High-risk pools are proven to be ineffective with few exceptions; they are expensive for participants, as well as, the states in which they operate. For cancer survivors, high-risk pools do not provide quality coverage, as they typically have high deductibles and most plans consist of inadequate benefits.

Congressman Walden also outlined legislation he plans to propose, which will require individuals with pre-existing conditions, such as cancer, to maintain continuous coverage in order to be protected from discrimination by insurance companies based on health status. We are encouraged by Congressman Walden’s efforts to maintain the pre-existing conditions protections and will continue working to ensure the patient voice is at the center of the process. We are currently concerned that the continuous coverage requirement would be problematic for cancer survivors as it does not consider the realities of the disease, age, employment, or personal and life changes. And again, there is no guarantee that the plans available for people with pre-existing conditions would be affordable.

These plans and others were examined and discussed Thursday during a hearing held by the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health. Although these proposals are works in progress, we know that the concepts behind them are not in the best interests of cancer patients and survivors.

What Can You Do Now?

Call Your Members of Congress

Cancer survivors deserve better. Call your members of Congress today and ask they not repeal the ACA. Explain how the law works for you as a cancer survivor. We should build upon the ACA’s progress and strengthen the legislation, not take away access to health care for millions and destabilize the already fragile markets.

Please consider sharing your story with us, to help us advocate for cancer survivors.

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