North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has an opportunity to veto SB 86, the North Carolina Small Business Healthcare Act which will expand access to association health plans (AHPs) that are bare bones health insurance policies that offer minimal benefits.
Following is a statement from Christine Weason, North Carolina government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network:
“The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) strongly urges Gov. Cooper’s veto of SB 86 because expanding access to association health plans will leave hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians with inadequate health care plans, deny patients’ access to essential health benefits, and force many cancer patients and survivors into situations with dire health consequences and potential financial ruin. Individuals who enroll in an association health plan and are diagnosed with cancer months later may discover their plan does not cover the services they need.
“This bill will cause the insurance market to become more segmented as small businesses join together to purchase inadequate health coverage. By attracting younger, healthier people to these plans, premiums in the individual market will be driven up for older and sicker patients who need more comprehensive coverage making it increasingly difficult for cancer patients and survivors to find adequate and affordable health insurance.
“ACS CAN is concerned these plans will be able to discriminate against people based on their health status. Expanding access to association health plans puts us at risk of going back to the day when essential health benefits were not covered, and folks will be forced to decide between spending their hard-earned dollars on rent and groceries or to save their lives. North Carolinians deserve quality, affordable, and comprehensive health insurance, and this legislation provides just the opposite.”
American Cancer Society Cancer Acton Network (ACS CAN)
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.