Arizona Cancer Patients, Survivors and Advocates Tell Congress the Time to Make Health Care More Affordable is Past Due

Lawmakers can help ensure more people survive cancer by including several provisions to make health care more affordable in the upcoming reconciliation package

June 3, 2022

Photos of the event here.

Phoenix, Ariz. – Last night, cancer advocates in Phoenix kicked off National Cancer Survivor Month with an important message to Congress: affordable cancer care is PAST DUE.

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) volunteers gathered on Thursday for an evening of celebration and advocacy, urging lawmakers to pass current proposals to make permanent increased subsidies for to purchase private health coverage on the marketplace, close the Medicaid coverage gap and cap out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for patients in Medicare Part D in a possible upcoming legislative package. 

"Cancer is incredibly expensive to diagnose, treat and survive. If we want to be able to celebrate that more of our friends and neighbors are surviving this disease, our lawmakers need to act now and make health care more affordable," said Vanessa Ramirez, cancer survivor, ACS CAN volunteer and board member for ACS Latinos Contra el Cancer.

More than half of cancer patients and survivors surveyed recently report they incurred medical debt as a result of their cancer care and of those who’ve gone into debt, 45% have delayed or avoided medical care for serious issues fearing they will go deeper into debt. 

"Close to 40,000 Arizonans will hear the words 'you have cancer' this year. Uninsured patients are less likely to be screened for cancer and more likely to be diagnosed with later-stage disease, which is harder to survive and more costly to treat," said Brian Hummell, ACS CAN government relations director in Arizona.

"Affordable cancer care is past due, but Congress has the opportunity right now to save lives and reduce health disparities by making permanent the increased subsidies for people purchasing health insurance in the Affordable Care Act marketplace, closing the Medicaid coverage gap and capping Medicaid Part D out-of-pocket prescription drug costs to no more than $2,000," said Hummell.

Congress has the power to make health care more affordable for millions of Americans, including cancer patients, survivors, and their families by including several key health provisions in an upcoming budget reconciliation package. More on those provisions here. 


About ACS CAN at 20  
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 saves lives. 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 made workplaces, including restaurants and bars, smoke-free. As we mark our 20th anniversary, we’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers and save more lives from cancer. Join the fight by visiting