TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida’s House Health Market Reform Subcommittee will be meeting TODAY, March 13th at 12:30 p.m. to debate HB955, which would place work requirements on Medicaid recipients. Following is a statement from Matt Jordan, Florida’s government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN):
“ACS CAN opposes tying access to affordable health coverage for low-income persons to work requirements because cancer patients, survivors and those who will be diagnosed with the disease could be physically unable to comply. Cancer treatment often causes several side effects, some of which can be serious and debilitating. Treating physicians may advise cancer patients against work during treatment to avoid risk of infection, to have time to heal and recover, and for other health reasons.
“If cancer patients, survivors, or others with chronic diseases are physically incapable of holding a job or engaging in a job search due to the impact of their disease or treatment, they should not be penalized and face barriers to health coverage including loss of coverage or lockouts, reduced benefits and services, higher cost sharing, or being denied access or enrollment in the Medicaid program.
“For low-income individuals with no other access to health coverage, access to Medicaid could mean the difference between an early, treatable diagnosis and a later stage diagnosis with far lower survival rates. If enacted, Medicaid work requirements could result in those with a history of cancer or other serious health conditions unable to access the only affordable health care coverage option available to help them treat or manage their disease.”
In Florida, approximately 131,470 people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer this year and 45,000 are projected to die. Additionally, more than 1.3 million people living in Florida have survived a cancer diagnosis.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.