Bipartisan Health Care Deal Could Preserve Health Insurance for Millions of Cancer Patients and Survivors

October 18, 2017

Washington, D.C.—Early this morning Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) made public the details of a bipartisan deal to stabilize the individual insurance market. The deal includes funding the cost-sharing reduction payments (CSRs) for the rest of 2017 and for two subsequent years, restores $106 million per year in outreach and enrollment funding through 2019 and authorizes state reinsurance programs. The proposal also allows increased flexibility for states to seek waivers under current law, including waivers for reinsurance programs, and expands eligibility for so-called “copper” plans, which offer high deductible, lower premium coverage.

A statement from Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) follows:

“We commend Senators Alexander and Murray for their continued dedication to finding bipartisan solutions to our nation’s health care challenges. This deal offers important, immediate action to stabilize the individual insurance market. The funding of cost-sharing reduction payments and encouragement of state reinsurance programs would help add stability to the insurance market and should help to mitigate premium spikes for millions of patients while providing necessary security for insurers to remain in the market. Restoring $106 million per year in outreach and education programming would help to reduce public confusion over the law and ensure more people who need health coverage get it.

“Expedited state waivers and new types of plans can affect cancer patients’ care—from prescription drug coverage to the size of their networks of hospitals and doctors.  Going forward, we need to make sure that cancer patients have affordable access to all the treatments they need. 

“The bipartisan plan is a good first step toward preserving patient access to meaningful health care. On behalf of cancer patients, survivors and their families, we urge lawmakers to keep this legislative process moving forward and work together to strengthen our nation’s health care system.” 

Media Contacts

Allison Miller
Director, Media Advocacy
Washington, D.C.