WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 8, 2016 – The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) sent a letter to congressional leadership today stressing that any repeal of the health care law needs to be accompanied by an immediate replacement.
A statement from Chris Hansen, president of ACS CAN, follows:
“As members of Congress consider the future of the Affordable Care Act, it is critically important that cancer patients, survivors and those at risk of the disease don’t face any gap in coverage of prevention and treatment.
“Replacement health care legislation that accompanies repeal needs to provide recognized patient protections that currently exist.
“Delaying enactment of a replacement for two or three years, and leaving insurers without any certainty in projecting risk, could lead to the collapse of the individual health insurance market with long-term consequences.
“The American Cancer Society’s peer-reviewed scientific research has shown that the uninsured and underinsured are more likely than those with insurance to be diagnosed with cancer at its more advanced stages when treatment is more expensive and patients are more likely to die from the disease.
“More than 20 million individuals including many cancer patients and survivors now have insurance facilitated by current law. Any replacement plan should stabilize and hopefully increase the number of insured Americans.
“ACS CAN will work toward legislative or policy proposals that meet evidence-based principles of meaningful insurance coverage that is available, adequate, affordable and easily understood.
“We are confident lawmakers want to do what is in the best interest of cancer patients, survivors and those at risk of cancer. ACS CAN stands ready to work with Congress to ensure any plan that is proposed meets the needs of families affected by cancer and guarantees uninterrupted and meaningful health insurance coverage.”