For many weeks, the country has been awaiting the release of the Republican plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In anticipation of this effort, Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) led a coalition effort of lung cancer advocacy groups and sent a letter to Congress in January that outlined important core principles that we believe should remain embedded in any overhaul of our health care system.
Yesterday, Republicans in the House of Representatives released the long-awaited plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act; titled, “The American Health Care Act” that not only repeals the law but replaces it with reforms laid out by President Trump.
On paper, the American Health Care Act continues to provide health care coverage and addresses some of LCA’s concerns about preventing insurance companies from denying coverage or charging more money to patients based on pre-existing conditions and allowing young adult children to stay on their parent’s plan until age 26. However, certain patient protections may still be in danger because the proposal drastically cuts the Medicaid program, which serves many lung cancer patients and vulnerable Americans.
LCA remains deeply concerned about maintaining the essential health benefits currently offered to lung cancer patients. There is still work to be done and LCA is committed to ensuring that the needs of the lung cancer community are taken into account as this process continues. We don’t yet know the cost of the bill and how many people might gain or lose coverage, but we will continue to remain engaged and monitor the situation so that no one is denied coverage and access to affordable high-quality care no matter their age or health status.