Ad Campaign Warns Health Care Bill Could Leave Millions of Cancer Patients and Survivors Uninsured

Ads Focus on the “Scary” Reality of Being Uninsured or Uninsurable; Urges Senate to Reject Health Bill

June 21, 2017

Washington, D.C.—The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is launching new print and digital ads today highlighting the real risks to cancer patients and survivors posed by pending health care legislation. The ads will run in print and online in Capitol Hill publications and online in Alaska, Nevada, Maine and West Virginia. The ads feature a chemotherapy IV bag with the message, “Cancer is scary enough. Don’t take away our coverage.”  and urges Senators to oppose the House-passed health care bill.

“Access to affordable and adequate health insurance is essential to cancer patients, survivors and all those at risk for the disease,” said Chris Hansen, president of ACS CAN. “Eliminating or greatly weakening patient protections included under current law risks pricing people who need care the most right out of market—a terrifying possibility for anyone who’s ever been diagnosed with this disease.”

It's feared that key provisions of the Senate health care bill, which has not yet been made public, could likely be modeled off of the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA). The AHCA allows medical underwriting for pre-existing health conditions, increases the amount older Americans can be charged for coverage and gives states the option to waive essential health benefits. If enacted, these changes would create a system where cancer patients and survivors are unable to get health coverage or what coverage is available has annual or lifetime limits and is prohibitively expensive.

In addition, the bill would slash Medicaid funding. More than two million Americans with a history of cancer rely on Medicaid for their coverage, including one-third of all childhood cancer patients who are on the program at the point of diagnosis.

“Cancer patients are often too sick to work and rely on Medicaid as a critical safety-net program to continue their treatment,” said Hansen. ““While both Medicaid and the current law need improvement, the current proposal is not the way to achieve that. We urge the Senate to develop policies that encourage a strong health insurance market that provides affordable and comprehensive coverage options for those with serious illnesses like cancer.”

To view the ad visit:

Media Contacts

Allison Miller
Director, Media Advocacy
Washington, D.C.
Alissa Crispino
Vice President, Media and Advocacy Communications
Washington, D.C.