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.
Although the cancer community was pleased that the harmful Graham-Cassidy bill failed, the Affordable Care Act is still at great risk. Currently, the Administration is actively undermining the ACA by drastically cutting the budget for enrollment, cutting the time period for open enrollment in half, and cutting outreach and navigator budgets.

A group of ACA proponents recently banded together to work to help Americans enroll for the health care they need. Open enrollment begins on November 1st and the group called Get America Covered has launched a website with resources to supplant the efforts the Administration slashed. If you or your friends or family need to sign up for insurance, visit their website at GetAmericaCovered.org.

As former acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Andy Slavitt recently reported, a new threat to the ACA is what he’s calling a “synthetic repeal,” which would gut the ACA through means other than passing a repeal bill through Congress. Synthetic repeal could be achieved by chipping away at Medicaid, hollowing out patient protections through the use of waivers, and not enforcing the individual mandate, which is what ensures a stable health insurance market. Slavitt outlined three tools Republicans in Congress could use to achieve a synthetic repeal: through an Executive Order, the budget/tax plan, and administrative actions to sabotage the ACA. The potential Executive Order would allow association health plans which would offer no protections for pre-existing conditions and would turn the ACA into a high-risk pool. Slavitt warns that states that have tried this have seen premiums skyrocket and competitors leave the market.

NCCS is monitoring these efforts to undermine the ACA and is working to prevent the sabotage of cancer patients’ and survivors’ access to affordable health insurance.

For more information on how you can get involved, check out our #ProtectOurCare page »

Follow NCCS on Twitter to stay updated on developments: @CancerAdvocacy.