LITTLE ROCK, AR – May 23, 2023 – Today, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network submitted public comment opposing Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s proposed changes to ARHOME, which would require over 300,000 Arkansans to report work and community activities to the state to remain eligible for their current Medicaid coverage.
Cancer and other serious medical conditions don’t discriminate based on race, gender, employment status, or where you live – and the timing of a diagnosis can be unpredictable. For low-income Arkansans, maintaining access to Medicaid means the difference between an early, treatable diagnosis and a later-stage diagnosis with far lower survival rates.
Matt Glanville, Arkansas government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, issued the following statement:
“We oppose any policy tying access to affordable health coverage to work or community engagement requirements. Cancer patients, survivors, and those who will be diagnosed with the disease – as well as those with other complex chronic conditions – could be seriously disadvantaged and find themselves without adequate Medicaid coverage because they are physically unable to comply."
“In addition, cancer patients could be forced to change their health care providers, who are often explicitly chosen for their expertise or capabilities. Changing a cancer patient’s provider network mid-treatment could be disastrous for the patient’s treatment and health outcomes."
“The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network asks the Arkansas Department of Human Services to listen to health advocates’ voices as they carefully review the potential impact and burden on cancer patients and survivors needing health coverage through the program.”
About ACS CAN:
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government. ACS CAN empowers volunteers across the country to make their voices heard to influence evidence-based public policy change that improves the lives of people with cancer and their families. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and advanced proven tobacco control measures. We’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. Join the fight by visiting www.fightcancer.org.