Health Care Changes Could Leave Millions of Cancer Patients and Survivors Unable to Access Meaningful Coverage

Executive Order Severely Weakens Patient Protections and Splits Insurance Market

October 12, 2017

Washington, D.C.—An executive order issued today allows for the expansion of association health plans and changes the rules governing the length and renewability of short-term catastrophic insurance plans.

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

“Today’s executive order jeopardizes the ability of millions of cancer patients, survivors and those at risk for the disease from being able to access or afford meaningful health insurance. Exempting an entire set of health plans from covering essential health benefits like prescription drugs or specialty care and allowing expansion and renewability of bare-bones short-term plans will split the insurance market. If younger and healthier people leave the market, people with serious illnesses like cancer will be left facing higher and higher premiums with few, if any, insurance choices.  Moreover, those who purchase cheap plans are likely to discover their coverage is inadequate when an unexpected health crisis happens leaving them financially devastated and costing the health care system more overall.

“Cancer patients and survivors deserve to have high quality affordable insurance that provides the kind of comprehensive coverage they need. Cancer patients, survivors and their families have repeatedly made clear they do not support the weakening of patient protections that this executive order makes possible.

“As the process moves forward we will work as much as possible with the appropriate agencies to implement rules and regulations that protect patients and their access to meaningful health care.”

Media Contacts

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