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Bloomberg Philanthropies invests $160 million to address youth e-cigarette use

Campaign will target flavored e-cigarettes and the marketing of products to children  

Today, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced the creation of a new $160 million initiative to address the youth e-cigarette epidemic. The new initiative launches on the heels of 33 states investigating more than 450 cases of lung illnesses associated with vaping, many of which involve teens and young adults.

"The American Cancer Society and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network are proud to join Bloomberg Philanthropies and our public health partners in this new campaign to work to reverse the youth e-cigarette epidemic across the country by prohibiting flavored tobacco products including e-cigarettes and compelling the FDA to swiftly exercise its authority granted by Congress to aggressively regulate all tobacco products," said Gary Reedy, CEO of the American Cancer Society and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN).

An excerpt of the press release is below. You can access the full press release on fightcancer.org and the ACS policy position statement on e-cigarettes on cancer.org.

If you receive media requests, please coordinate with your ACS CAN media advocacy colleagues.

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Bloomberg Philanthropies Launches New $160 Million Program to End the Youth E-Cigarette Epidemic

MORE THAN 3.6 MILLION U.S. KIDS USE E-CIGARETTES, INCLUDING 1 IN 5 HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS; 97 PERCENT OF KIDS WHO USE E-CIGARETTES USE FLAVORED VARIETIES

New initiative launches on heels of 33 states investigating more than 450 cases of lung illnesses associated with vaping, many of which involve teens and young adults

New York (September 10, 2019)—In response to alarming levels of e-cigarette use among youth in the United States—including a 78 percent increase among high school students in just one year—Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced the creation of a new $160 million initiative to end the youth e-cigarette epidemic.

Goals of the initiative, "Protect Kids: Fight Flavored E-Cigarettes," include banning all flavored e-cigarettes—and stopping Juul and other e-cigarette companies from marketing their products to children. The three-year program will be led by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, which will partner with other leading organizations including parent and community groups concerned about the nation's kids and health.

More than 3.6 million middle and high school students in the United States use e-cigarettes, accounting for about one-third of all U.S. e-cigarette users. E-cigarettes with kid-friendly flavors such as mint, mango, gummy bear and cotton candy are fueling this epidemic; 97 percent of kids who use e-cigarettes use the flavored varieties, and 70 percent report the flavors as the reason they use e-cigarettes. Teen smoking rates in the United States declined by more than 70 percent between 2000 and 2018, but the spike in e-cigarette use among youth threatens to undo a generation's worth of progress.

The creation of the initiative comes as health authorities in 33 states are investigating more than 450 cases of severe respiratory illnesses associated with vaping, with many cases involving teens and young adults. A CDC health advisory released in response to these alarming incidents encourages e-cigarette users to stop using these products while investigations into the cause of these illnesses are ongoing.

 

 


  • ACS CAN celebrates staff and volunteers with top advocacy awards

    The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s (ACS CAN) annual Leadership Summit and Lobby Day began on Sunday with the National Advocacy Leadership Awards dinner in Washington, D.C., where staff and volunteers were recognized for the exceptional work they do throughout the year to make cancer a top national priority.

    The 2019 recipients include:

    STAFF

    Alan Mills Award - ACS CAN’s highest honor for advocacy staff, recognizes any current staff person who has consistently demonstrated leadership and excellence in the area of advocacy and public policy.

    • Jim Knox, Managing Director, California: Jim has spent his 15-year career with ACS and ACS CAN demonstrating tremendous leadership and excellence in advancing public policy critical to the fight against cancer, including groundbreaking tobacco control work throughout the state of California.

    Field Government Relations Professional of the Year - This award recognizes a government relations professional who has worked tirelessly to make a powerful, lasting impression in cancer-related public policy.

    • Lynda Barbour, Southern California Government Relations Director: Lynda Barbour was recognized for her vital role in securing significant tobacco control grants that will build ACS CAN’s capacity in diverse and underserved regions of California.

    Field Grassroots Professional of the Year - This award is given to an ACS CAN staff member whose collaborative efforts further the achievement of advocacy-related mission goals.

    • Cori Chandler, Rhode Island Grassroots Manager: In addition to motivating Rhode Island volunteers in their successful fundraising efforts, Cori spent the 2019 legislative session at the Rhode Island State House testifying on behalf of policies important to her and to ACS CAN’s mission.

    Regional Professional of the Year - This award is presented each year to an exemplary staff member who has made significant contributions to the organization through their cancer advocacy work.

    • Cynthia Serna, Associate Director, Grassroots and Program Integration: Cynthia was recognized for her commitment to supporting the enterprise’s diversity and inclusion efforts, including integrating ACS CAN staff into Employee Engagement Groups (EEGs) and her role as trainer and co-facilitator for the Diversity & Inclusion Competence and Confidence training series.

    American Cancer Society Partner of the Year - This award is given to a staff member at the American Cancer Society whose collaborative efforts with the organization’s advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN, further the achievement of advocacy-related mission goals.

    • Ruth Hong, Director, Strategic Partnerships-Volunteer Engagement: Ruth led an 18-month discovery team to identify and address challenges that ACS CAN Grassroots Managers face in volunteer recruitment and onboarding, including designing a new and improved volunteer onboarding process.

    VOLUNTEER

    Volunteer Award for Excellence in Advocacy (VAEA) - This award is the highest national volunteer advocacy honor bestowed by ACS CAN.

    • George and Brooke Blough, West Virginia: George and Brooke are longtime volunteer leaders at ACS CAN, sharing George’s story as a 29-year, stage 4 ovarian cancer survivor to advance legislation critical to fighting cancer. George was recognized as ACS CAN’s SLA of the year in 2010 and she received the St. George’s Medal from the American Cancer Society in 2013; Brooke was recognized as ACT Lead of the Year in 2014.

    State Lead Ambassador (SLA) of the Year - This award is presented to a lead state volunteer who has demonstrated exemplary leadership in advocating for ACS CAN’s area of cancer-related public policy.

    • Michael Holtz, Tennessee: Michael Holtz is an outspoken advocate for cancer-fighting policies in Tennessee and across the country, sharing his personal story as a colorectal cancer survivor to Michael’s story was featured in this year’s Lights of Hope promotional video.

    Ambassador Constituent Team (ACT) Lead of the Year - This award is given to a lead congressional district volunteer who has demonstrated remarkable leadership advocating for ACS CAN’s areas of cancer-related public policy.

    • Mario Landera, Florida: Mario frequently attends Relay For Life and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer committee meetings to raise awareness of ACS CAN legislative priorities and recruit ACS CAN members, in addition to frequently representing ACS CAN with Spanish-speaking local and national media.
    • Pam Manges, Ohio: Pam’s ability to develop strong relationships with her former and current lawmakers and their staff has resulted in co-sponsorship for ACS CAN’s priority federal quality of life and colorectal cancer screening legislation, in addition to her dedication to attending Relays in target districts to collect petitions.
    • Grace Pugh, California: In addition to utilizing her role as a member of the ACS San Gabriel Valley Leadership Council to raise awareness of ACS CAN’s latest news and campaigns, Grace recruited new volunteers and ACS CAN members this year and helped her local Relay For Life achieve CAN Club status.

    Emerging Leader Award - This award is presented to a state volunteer who has demonstrated an exciting promise in their start with ACS CAN by taking advantage of new opportunities to advocate for cancer patients.

    • Cindy Vo, Georgia: Cindy elevates her voice as a cancer survivor and child of first-generation Vietnamese refugees to advocate for increased access to health care throughout her state. Her story is among those featured in ACS CAN’s Medicaid Covers US educational campaign.

    STAFF AND VOLUNTEER

    State Advocacy Team of the Year - This award is presented to combined staff and volunteer teams that have worked together to make a significant impression in cancer-related public policy.

    • Illinois: The ACS CAN Illinois team succeeded in its two-year effort to make Illinois the first Midwestern state to raise the legal age of sale of tobacco products to 21, in addition to securing a significant $1-per-pack cigarette tax increase, which is expected to prevent 28,700 kids from smoking.

    Please check the Monthly Advocacy Update this week for more updates on Leadership Summit and Lobby Day.

    Top Photo: George and Brooke Blough, recipients of the 2019 Volunteer Award for Excellence in Advocacy.

    Small Photo: Ruth Hong, Director, Strategic Partnerships-Volunteer Engagement and recipient of 2019 ACS Partner of the Year Award poses with ACS and ACS CAN CEO Gary Reedy; ACS CAN President Lisa Lacasse; ACS CAN Vice President of Advocacy Administration, Training & Operations.


  • ACS CAN Leadership Summit and Lobby Day begins Sunday

    Hundreds of advocates will head to Washington, D.C. to urge their lawmakers to make cancer a national priority 

    Next week, nearly 700 cancer patients, survivors, and their loved ones will travel to the nation's capital for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network's (ACS CAN) annual Leadership Summit and Lobby Day, which will be held from Sep. 8 to 11. 

    The advocates will represent all 50 states and nearly every congressional district as they convene on Capitol Hill to ask Congress to make the fight against cancer a national priority. Read below for the week's busy agenda and to see how you can stay up-to-date on the action!

    Sunday, Sept. 8 – Monday, Sept. 9

    Hundreds of volunteers will gather in D.C. on Sunday, just in time for the annual ACS CAN Advocacy Awards Dinner, where dedicated ACS CAN volunteers and staff will be recognized for their outstanding work in cancer advocacy. Check My Society Source on Monday morning for a full list of award recipients.

    The advocates will spend Monday in breakout and training sessions to prepare for their lawmaker meetings the next day, as well as hear from U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

    Tuesday, Sept. 10

    On September 10, ACS CAN volunteers will head to Capitol Hill and ask their members of Congress to:

    • Increase federal funding for cancer research and prevention programs at the National Institutes of Health by at least $2 billion;
    • Advance the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA), legislation that would support patients' quality of life by increasing access to palliative care;
    • Support the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screenings Act, legislation that would close a loophole in Medicare that often results in surprise costs for seniors when a polyp is found during a routine colonoscopy;
    • Support the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act and the Stopping Appealing Flavors in E-Cigarettes for Kids Act, legislation that would restrict flavoring of tobacco products to protect kids.

    NCAA Division I basketball coaches Fran McCaffery of the University of Iowa, Jamion Christian of George Washington University, and retired coach and two-time cancer survivor Dave Rose of Brigham and Young University will rally the advocates before they go to Capitol Hill for their meetings with lawmakers. The coaches are members of Coaches vs. Cancer®, a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches™.

    The coaches and advocates will be joined by several representatives from the Gates Millennium Scholars program as part of its collaboration with ACS CAN, along with selected Gen2End Ambassadors and representatives of the Campus Leadership Team. A full list of these attendees is below.

    Throughout the day, volunteers will participate in interviews as part of the radio and television media tour that is coordinated to promote Leadership Summit & Lobby Day.

    The ACS CAN Lobby Day will end with an evening Lights of HOPE ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool featuring more than 40,000 lights to honor those who have been touched by cancer. The ACS CAN Lights of HOPE ceremony is presented by Celgene. Follow @ACSCAN and #LightsofHope on Twitter and Instagram for live updates and photos from the powerful event.

    Wednesday, Sept. 11

    Leadership Summit and Lobby Day will conclude on Wednesday with a keynote address from actress and cancer survivor Marcia Cross.

    Stay Up to Date with #CancerLobbyDay

    Volunteers are encouraged to stay up to date with Leadership Summit & Lobby Day by following @ACSCAN on social media. Live updates and photos will be shared throughout the week using #CancerLobbyDay and #LightsofHope. You can also check My Society Source and ACS CAN President Lisa Lacasse's Cancer CANdor Blog for updates as the week goes on. 

    Gates Scholars: Aracely Navarro, Crystal Harrell, Carolina Regalado Murillo, Hananiel Setiawan, Antone Morrison, and Briana Flatley

    Gen2End Ambassadors: Bridget Toomey, Remy Kennedy, Melissa Koshy, Asra Sami, Harry Jensen, Milo Gringlas, and Dana Bernson

    Campus Leadership Team: Cindy Vo, Rebecca Powell, Anita Sloan, Hannah Gaffney, and Nathan Farnor 


  • New ACS CAN report measures state efforts to prevent and reduce cancer

    In almost every state, legislatures are missing opportunities

    On August 1, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) released its 17th annual How Do You Measure Up?: A Progress Report on State Legislative Activity to Reduce Cancer Incidence and Mortality. The report illustrates state legislative efforts to advance policies that help reduce death and suffering from cancer. Detailed state-by-state information and a full copy of the report are available at fightcancer.org/measure.

    How does your state measure up in the fight against cancer?

    How Do You Measure Up? is an annual snapshot of where all 50 states and Washington, D.C. – and U.S. territories, where information is available – stand in the fight against cancer, using a color-coded rating system. Green represents the benchmark position and indicates that a state has adopted evidence-based policies and best practices; yellow indicates that a state is making progress towards the benchmark position, and red means that a state is falling behind. 

    The report is aimed at state legislators and other stakeholders in the policy-making process to highlight the critical role they play in ACS CAN’s advocacy work to implement evidenced-based policy solutions proven to help fight cancer. 

    The report focuses on eight legislative priority areas critical to reducing the cancer burden: 

    • Increased access to Medicaid 
    • Access to palliative care
    • Pain policy 
    • Tobacco excise taxes 
    • Smoke-free laws 
    • Tobacco control funding 
    • Medicaid coverage of tobacco cessation 
    • Indoor tanning restrictions 

    ACS CAN staff and volunteers have made incredible progress in implementing legislative solutions to prevent, manage, and treat cancer, with more than half of the states in our country making progress in passing cancer-fighting policies. However, the 2019 How Do You Measure Up? report shows that in almost every state, legislatures are missing opportunities to enact laws and policies that would save more lives and boost local economies. ACS CAN continues to engage with policymakers to take action in the areas where states are falling short this year. 

    Special section: Tobacco 21

    This year’s report also includes a special section examining legislative efforts to stem youth tobacco product use by raising the legal age of sale for tobacco to 21. The special section draws attention to the tobacco industry’s agenda of co-opting good-faith tobacco 21 legislation to include provisions that do not effectively protect youth from its dangerous products but instead help protect the industry’s own profits.

    Report promotion 

    ACS CAN media advocacy staff are working with national, state, and local reporters and news outlets to promote How Do You Measure Up?, highlight ACS CAN’s priority campaigns in their states, and coordinate interviews with ACS CAN spokespeople. The report will be promoted on ACS CAN’s national TwitterFacebook, and Instagram accounts, and staff are encouraged to share content directly from the ACS CAN pages. ACS CAN President Lisa Lacasse will be sharing her thoughts on the report on her Cancer CANdor Blog

    Questions?

    Questions about the report or state-specific efforts can be directed to Rachel Marcus, ACS CAN state and local campaigns manager. If staff receive media requests related to the report, please contact your local ACS CAN media advocacy staff partner.

    TOP PHOTO:  This graphic shows state decisions on increasing Medicaid eligibility up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level ($17,236 for an individual; $35,535 for a family of four). Green states have expanded Medicaid eligibility; red indicates that the governor and/or state legislature chose not to expand Medicaid eligibility to low-income state residents.


  • ACS CAN reacts to House subcommittee hearing on JUUL

    ​On July 24,  the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy began two days of hearings to examine JUUL’s role in the ongoing youth tobacco epidemic. 

    The committee is examining JUUL’s role in the epidemic, its appeal to youth, its marketing practices and health claims, and its relationship to tobacco companies. Witnesses from the public health and patient advocacy community, along with parents of children who use e-cigarettes will provide testimony before the committee.

    The following is a statement from Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN):

    “By examining the behaviors and marketing practices of the tobacco industry, which are responsible for the current youth e-cigarette epidemic, Congress continues to dedicate critical attention to this national health crisis. JUUL, with significant investment from Altria, has a clear interest in finding ways to addict a new generation to its products.

    “Without regulation, the e-cigarette industry has had unfettered ability to aggressively market flavored tobacco products that are popular with youth. According to the most recent data available, among teens who have ever tried an e-cigarette, 96% used a flavored product for their first time, and among current teen e-cigarette users 97% regularly use a flavored product.

    “The tobacco industry cannot and should not be trusted and our kids deserve better from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is beyond time the FDA moves to fulfill its full statutory and court-ordered obligations by conducting a comprehensive review of all deemed tobacco products on the market. By law these products are not supposed to be available to consumers without such scrutiny. Comprehensive and immediate FDA review, coupled with a restriction of flavored tobacco products that have not undergone the required premarket review, are the two most significant steps the FDA can take to reverse the alarming trend of youth use of e-cigarettes and prevent initiation of use of other tobacco products.”


  • ​New digital storybook gives voice to individuals impacted by Medicaid

    On July 10, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) launched a digital collection of stories about individuals, families, and health care providers sharing their experiences with the Medicaid program.

    Developed as part of ACS CAN's Medicaid Covers US public education project, the digital storybook features individuals who have been impacted by this insurance program, those that could have been aided by Medicaid if they had qualified, and health professionals that have seen the impact this program has made in the lives of patients and in the health care system.

    The digital storybook can be accessed at MedicaidCoversUS.org.

    Launched in April 2019, the Medicaid Covers U.S. public education project intends to engage decision makers, community members, and the public in a dialogue about the vital services Medicaid provides. The public education project is supported by a grant to ACS provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and funding from ACS and ACS CAN. ACS CAN is investing additional funding to support ongoing advocacy work across the country.

    The project focuses on six states: Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Virginia. Leveraging the power of storytelling, ACS CAN aims to promote the positive impact Medicaid has made on beneficiaries and health care providers, as well as state and local economies.

    "In the fight against cancer, we know that affordable access to health care is critical, and Medicaid plays a major role in helping people get and stay healthy," said Lisa Lacasse, president of ACS CAN. "By helping to ensure people have access to health care when they need it most, Medicaid makes it possible for people and economies to thrive."

    The storybook may be shared with volunteers, donors, and others who are interested in learning more about the role Medicaid plays for residents, health care providers, and state economies. 

    If you have questions about the storybook or the overall Medicaid Covers US project, please contact Hilary Gee Goeckner, ACS CAN state and local campaigns manager – Medicaid.




  • House subcommittee considers bills addressing patient health care costs and access issues

    ​On June 11, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health began marking-up a series of bills aimed at reducing patient out-of-pocket costs and preserving access to health care. 

    Specifically, the committee is considering a measure that would exempt patients from having to pay surprise medical bills in most circumstances. Surprise medical bills are bills that result from a patient unexpectedly receiving care or a service from an out-of-network provider, often during an urgent situation where neither the patient nor the provider are aware of the discrepancy.

    Also being considered are several measures on prescription drug pricing and a bill extending funding for the Community Health Center Fund for four years at $4 billion annually.

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

    “We welcome today’s committee action focused on reducing patients’ out-of-pocket health care costs and preserving access to essential health care services.

    “In particular, we commend Committee Chairman, Rep. Pallone (D-N.J.) and Ranking Member Walden (R-Ore.) for their bipartisan work on the issue of surprise billing. Taking the patient out of the middle of billing issues when they receive care or services that are inadvertently outside of their insurance network would provide significant relief to cancer patients, many of whom are already struggling with difficult financial circumstances. We’re pleased that this bill would provide cancer patients more certainty for their medical expenses.

    “We’re also pleased to see the committee advance legislation reauthorizing and extending funding for the Community Health Center Fund. This program is essential to providing preventive services and timely care to cancer patients and their families. In fact, evidence shows those who receive care at community health centers are more likely to receive mammograms, pap smears and colorectal cancer screening than non-health center patients nationally.

    “Additionally, we applaud the Committee for examining ways to address rising prescription drug prices. Drug therapies play an integral role in cancer treatment. As more innovative cancer therapies become available, greater transparency will be necessary to support better choices, lower costs, and improved care for cancer patients.

    “On behalf of all cancer patients, survivors and their families, we urge Congress to continue working together to reduce health care costs and improve access to quality health care services.”


  • Atlanta joins the list of cities that recognize everyone’s right to breathe clean air

    A long-awaited and hard-fought victory for ACS CAN volunteers and staff

    Today, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms signed into law the smoke-free ordinance passed by the Atlanta City Council last week. The law will take effect on Jan. 2, 2020, making restaurants, bars and Hartsfield-Jackson Airport smoke-free. 

    ACS CAN will continue to work with the Mayor’s office and the City of Atlanta to effectively implement the law and ensure everyone’s right to breathe clean air is protected.

    Read below for a recap of this successful campaign led by ACS CAN and the Smoke-free ATL coalition.

    On July 1, the Atlanta City Council passed a smoke-free ordinance that will make workplaces, including restaurants, bars and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport smoke-free. This successful campaign was spearheaded by ACS CAN as leaders of the Smoke-free ATL coalition. Staff and volunteers, both in Georgia and nationally, were joined by senior leadership, including ACS CAN and ACS CEO Gary Reedy and ACS Acting Chief Medical and Scientific Officer Len Lichtenfeld, MD, in garnering support for this important measure that will benefit the health of those who work and live in Atlanta.

    The smoke-free ordinance was introduced earlier this year in Atlanta City Council in the effort to implement a strong local smoke-free law that protects workers, patrons, and visitors in Atlanta from the harms of secondhand smoke exposure. There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke, which causes nearly 42,000 deaths each year in the U.S. 

    According to U.S. Surgeon’s General, comprehensive smoke-free policies are the only effective method of fully protecting the public from dangerous secondhand smoke, and ACS CAN has been instrumental in advocating for comprehensive smoke-free policies in states and ordinances around the country. Now, Atlanta will join the list of cities that prioritize and recognize everyone’s right to breathe clean air.

    This accomplishment comes after years of dedication and strategic work by ACS CAN advocates and volunteers who sent petitions to council members, attended committee hearings, and spread awareness of this important opportunity to improve the public health of this major city. 

    The Smoke-free Atlanta campaign also received extensive support from public health leaders. Gary, as CEO of ACS CAN, vocalized his strong opinion that Atlanta – home to both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ACS’ Global Headquarters – should finally adopt a smoke-free ordinance. Last month he joined Dr. David Satcher, 16th Surgeon General of the United States, on WABE to discuss why Atlanta needed to adopt this important smoke-free measure. Dr. Len testified multiple times to educate the City Council on the dangers of secondhand smoke and the serious health risks associated with secondhand smoke exposure. Just a few weeks ago, three top former U.S. public health leaders wrote an op-ed in the Atlanta Journal Constitution calling on the City Council to pass the smoke-free ordinance.

    This is a long-awaited and hard-fought accomplishment in ACS CAN’s ongoing work to reduce the burden of cancer through advocacy and public policy change, and one that was successful due to the skill and determination of the ACS CAN Georgia team, volunteers, and other partners. 


  • Court urged to prioritize patients and uphold health care law

    Protections for pre-existing conditions and coverage standards at risk

    Patient groups are urging the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to prioritize patient protections, including those for people with pre-existing conditions, when it hears oral arguments today (July 9) in the case Texas v. United States. The case is being appealed after a lower court ruling that the entire health care law should be struck down because Congress repealed the individual mandate’s tax penalty. The case was brought by 20 states and is led by the Texas Attorney General.

    The patient groups filed an amicus brief with the Court in April arguing the law was intended to help protect patients with pre-existing conditions, and Congress’s rejection of efforts to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) confirms that intent.

    Following is the groups’ joint statement:

    “Millions of Americans rely on the critical patient protections included in the ACA to access, afford and retain meaningful health coverage that is essential for their well-being. This includes people who suffer from serious, acute and chronic health conditions, like cancer, heart and lung disease, chronic neurological diseases, diabetes, pregnancy, and mental health and substance use disorders.

    “If allowed to stand, the lower court’s ruling would once again mean people could be charged more or denied coverage based on their health history. Insurance plans could impose arbitrary annual and lifetime limits on patients’ coverage and could exclude whole categories of care—like prescription drugs—from their plans. Striking down the law would also jeopardize the tax credits 8 million Americans rely on to afford health insurance on the individual market, and could result in millions of others being dropped from Medicaid should states decide to rescind expanded coverage.

    “The consequences of invalidating the patient protections included in the ACA would be profound and immediate. An estimated 27 million people could lose their health coverage by next year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

    “We urge the court to keep people with chronic and serious conditions top of mind when they hear arguments today and to respect the will of Congress by preserving health care for millions of Americans.”

    The groups on the brief include the American Cancer Society, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Crohn's & Colitis Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation, Hemophilia Federation of America, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, March of Dimes, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, National Hemophilia Foundation, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and The Kennedy Forum.


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