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15 groups urge Supreme Court to protect access to Medicaid

Oral arguments before the country's highest court are scheduled for March 29.

Fifteen groups representing patients, people with disabilities, and health care professionals filed an amicus curiae - or friend of the court - brief on Feb. 25, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to protect access to health coverage as it considers the validity of work and community engagement requirements in Medicaid. 

The groups, which include ACS CAN, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Catholic Health Association of the United States, Hemophilia Federation of America, and The AIDS Institute, along with 10 others, cite the detrimental impacts these requirements would have on states’ most vulnerable residents.

To date, 12 states have been approved to implement such eligibility requirements in their Medicaid programs and several other states have similar applications pending. While lower courts had previously blocked work requirements ruling that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), under the previous administration, violated federal law by approving them, states have continued to pursue these barriers.

The groups issued the following joint statement:

“Medicaid is an essential source of health coverage for tens of millions of people nationwide, including millions with illnesses like cancer, heart disease, depression, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. This program allows people to manage those conditions, see a doctor when they are sick, get check-ups, buy medications, and go to the hospital. Adding burdensome, administrative reporting requirements related to work or community engagement would result in fewer individuals having access to this lifesaving program and force more state residents to go without health insurance altogether, widening health inequities and worsening health outcomes.

“Furthermore, stripping Medicaid enrollees of their health coverage will lead to greater costs for states both in administrative costs upfront and the costs associated with dis-enrolling and re-enrolling individuals.

“Work and community engagement requirements do not improve the Medicaid program nor increase access to health coverage for individuals when they need it most. At this critical time in our country’s history, as we battle a public health crisis that makes clear the importance of protecting access to care and reducing health disparities, we must work to make access to comprehensive health coverage easier, not erect barriers. We urge the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the lower courts’ rulings and strike down life-threatening work and community engagement requirements.”

The other 10 groups are: American College of Physicians, Cancer Support Community, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation, Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, March of Dimes, Mental Health America, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, National Patient Advocate Foundation, and The National Multiple Sclerosis Society.


  • Feb. 22: Focus on Elevating Cancer Equity webinar

    Featured speakers include ACS Board member and ACS CAN president. Register now!

    The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), and the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) will host a webinar, Elevating Cancer Equity: Actionable Solutions to Reduce Racial Disparities in Guideline Adherent Cancer Care, on Monday, Feb. 22, at 12:30 p.m. ET. Register here.

    The webinar will focus on reducing racial disparities in cancer care. The co-chairs of the Elevating Cancer Equity Working Group, Shonta Chambers, executive vice president of the Patient Advocate Foundation, and Robert Winn, MD, director, Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center and member of the ACS Board of Directors, will share policy and practice recommendations to influence meaningful change to reduce racial disparities in cancer care. 

    ACS Board Scientific Officer Carmen Guerra, MD, is also a member of the working group charged with developing these recommendations. ACS CAN President Lisa Lacasse will also participate in the webinar, and will review recent polling that was completed with patients, caregivers, and oncologists.   

    Registration for the webinar is complimentary for non-industry health care professionals. Visit fightcancer.org to learn more about ACS CAN’s advocacy work on health equity.


  • House relief bill provides more options for health care coverage

    ​Increased and expanded marketplace subsidies, COBRA assistance, and Medicaid incentives would help stem pandemic-driven coverage loss.

    The U.S. House of Representatives will soon consider legislation to increase access to health coverage for millions of Americans, including cancer patients and survivors, as part of its pandemic relief package.

    House Committees are currently considering, and will soon advance, legislation to increase the generosity of subsidies to cover the costs of marketplace health plans—including offering subsides to those who are receiving unemployment benefits—offer financial support to cover the bulk of premium costs for laid off workers who choose to keep their employer-sponsored health care plans, and boost the federal reimbursement for states to expand their Medicaid programs.

    Also included are provisions to provide economic assistance to some nonprofits, many of which are struggling to provide essential services during this time.

    A statement from Lisa Lacasse, president of ACS CAN, follows:

    “Ensuring people have access to comprehensive health care is critical as the nation continues to deal with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Millions of people, including cancer patients and survivors, have unfortunately lost their jobs, their health care, and their means to adequately prevent, detect, and treat their disease. Helping cover the premium costs of health insurance—whether through increased subsidies on the exchange or by helping pay for continuing employer coverage through COBRA—will provide much-needed assistance to families and individuals struggling to maintain and afford their health care.

    “However, for a growing number of people in the coverage gap, increasing access to Medicaid is the only way to effectively ensure access to comprehensive health coverage. While 38 states and the District of Columbia have already taken this step, too many individuals remain without adequate insurance options in the 12 states that have not expanded. Without health coverage, individuals are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer at a later stage and more likely to die from the disease. By including policies to incentivize states to increase access to their Medicaid programs, this legislation will help ensure more individuals are able to get lifesaving care, help address health disparities across the country and save lives.

    “Additionally, extending economic relief to nonprofits hit hard by the pandemic—many of which provide critical health related services—will help bridge the gap many Americans are facing when it comes to managing their health and their finances.

    “Recovering from this pandemic will require ensuring as many people as possible can get and maintain affordable health care. The committee action today is an important step to that end, and we look forward to working with Congress to improve access to care during this time and beyond.”


  • February Advocacy Update from Lisa Lacasse

    Feb. 11: Hear experts discuss the impact of the new Biden Administration and the 117th Congress on the fight against cancer.

    2020 Year-end Cancer Advocacy Wins 

    ACS CAN advocates persevered through the many challenges of 2020 to close out the year with several wins that represent incredible progress on our cancer mission. 

    • After 10 years of advocacy, the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act was signed into law and will phase out unexpected out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries if a polyp is found and removed during a screening colonoscopy. This tremendous win was accomplished by leveraging ACS CAN’s nationwide grassroots power to support an unwavering direct lobbying engagement strategy by ACS CAN’s federal relations team. 
    • Federal funding for the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute was increased by $1.25 billion and nearly $120 million respectively, a significant achievement in such a tough budget environment. Cancer prevention and screening programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also received a $5.8 million funding boost, especially important as pandemic-related missed screenings are likely to increase demand for these critical services. 
    • The Henrietta Lacks Enhancing Cancer Research Act was signed into law, a bill for which our grassroots volunteers and staff strongly advocated throughout the year and helped to garner strong bipartisan support. The bill – named in honor of a Black woman whose cells were taken without her knowledge or consent during cervical cancer treatment – aims to increase access and remove barriers to participation in federally sponsored cancer clinical trials among traditionally underrepresented communities. I was honored to feature a post from Henrietta’s grandson, Alfred Lacks Carter, on my blog in December. 
    • Congress passed the No Surprises Act that prohibits surprise medical bills, a significant step in the right direction to reduce out-of-pocket costs of cancer patients, of particular importance as patients face affordability issues during the pandemic. ACS CAN strongly urged Congress to advance legislation on this important issue. 

    Our press statement details multiple other priority provisions critical to our cancer mission including pandemic relief for nonprofits and providing Medicaid patients greater access to clinical trials.  

     

    Administration Prioritizes Policy Changes Expanding Health Coverage Options, Addressing Health Equity

    President Biden issued a series of executive orders last month, including several aimed at expanding potential health coverage options for those have lost health insurance due to the pandemic, and rolling back current policies that impede patient access to coverage, including:

    • Offering a clear path to find coverage with a special enrollment period for people to purchase individual health plans on the exchange;
    • Reducing hurdles many face when trying to enroll in Medicaid by halting future efforts to cap eligibility or implement burdensome reporting requirements; and
    • Reexamining policies that make it difficult for patients with pre-existing conditions to access affordable care. 

    ACS CAN welcomed these efforts as increasing access to care remains critical for both our mission and our country’s recovery from the pandemic. Read more in a statement from ACS and ACS CAN CEO Gary Reedy. In 2021, we will continue to elevate the patient voice through our efforts including launching the 2nd successful Survivor Views initiative that will survey a cohort of cancer survivors for real-time input on the impact of the pandemic on access to care. 

    Additional executive orders acknowledged the need to advance health equity, including directing a government-wide effort to address health equity, establishing a COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, and announcing a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all people of color and other historically underserved communities. Reducing longstanding health disparities remains a top priority for ACS CAN in 2021, and we appreciate the administration’s clear recognition of the urgent need for these policy changes.  

    Virtual Events

    • The First 100 Days: Hear from the Experts
      1. ACS CAN is hosting a virtual event on February 11 at 7:00 p.m. ET. to hear from experts about the impact of the new Biden Administration and the 117th Congress on the fight against cancer. Featured speakers include Dr. Lisa Richardson, director of CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, and Dr. Brittany Avin McKelvey, PhD scientist and current ACS CAN Science Policy Follow. Keysha Brooks-Coley, ACS CAN vice president, Federal Advocacy and Strategic Alliances, will serve as moderator. RSVP to the event here.
    • State Cancer Action Days: Our Virtual Cancer Fight 
      1. As part of ACS CAN’s 2021 Cancer Action Days, cancer patients, survivors and volunteer advocates across the country will meet virtually with their state lawmakers to share their stories and urge elected officials to support public policy change that will help save lives from cancer. Advocates in Idaho, Arizona and Washington have already kicked off their virtual Cancer Action Days focused on tobacco control, protecting cancer research funding and eliminating health disparities. Visit fightcancer.org/events for the full lists of upcoming Cancer Action Days and please advocate with us!

           
     


     

    • Save the Date: ACS CAN’s National Forum on the Future of Health Care
      • Our 2021 Forum will again be virtual and will be held on April 27, focusing on breaking down barriers to high quality cancer care with a particular emphasis on addressing health disparities related to: access, clinical trials and prevention and screening. More details will be shared in the coming months.

    Federal Action Weakening Medicaid Programs Amid Pandemic and Recession Will Prove Deadly

    ACS CAN strongly opposed the decision by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services last month to approve a waiver that will allow for a capped funding arrangement – a “block grant” – in Tennessee’s Medicaid program. The approval limits the amount of federal funding provided to Tennessee and authorizes the state to establish a closed prescription drug formulary, which limits the prescription drugs available to treat complex conditions like cancer. Read our press statement here.

    The approval was announced in the final days of the Trump Administration and was the last in a series of waivers approved weakening state Medicaid programs and creating additional barriers to health insurance coverage for individuals and families with lower incomes. ACS CAN mobilized quickly to express our strong opposition and generate conversation about the damaging consequences of the decision, sending 101 emails and making nearly 600 phone calls to state lawmakers and Gov. Lee and securing 36 news stories, including the Associated Press. Despite our concerns, Gov. Lee signed the waiver into law. ACS CAN will closely monitor the impact of these program changes on cancer patients and continue to urge that elected officials ensure those who rely on TennCare for coverage face additional barriers. 

    Proposed Medicare Rule Likely to Limit Cancer Patients’ Access to Necessary Prescription Drugs

    ACS CAN filed comments urging the administration to rescind the “Most Favored Nation” proposed rule tying certain Medicare Part B drug reimbursement rates to that of foreign countries. While the rule’s intent is to save Medicare money, we are concerned that a significant portion of the savings comes from beneficiaries not being able to access their cancer drugs. Thirty-five of the 50 drugs listed in the rule are used for treating cancer meaning that cancer patients would likely be among those most affected and unable to access necessary treatments. There’s also concern an unintended consequence of the rule would result in increased prices on non-Medicare Part B drugs. Read our press statement here.  

    State and Local Advances

    • As state lawmakers dive into their 2021 legislative sessions amidst the ongoing economic crisis driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, ACS CAN staff and volunteers across the country are working to protect and secure funding for critical public health programs, including breast and cervical cancer screenings programs; tobacco prevention and cessation programs; and cancer research programs. 
    • In California, the tobacco industry secured sufficient signatures to place a referendum on the November 2022 ballot to overturn the state law to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco. ACS CAN and our public health allies continue to denounce Big Tobacco’s efforts to halt the implementation of the successful legislation, and urge the adoption of strong, comprehensive local tobacco control policies. 
    • ACS CAN urged the District of Columbia City Council to expand proposed legislation to end the sale of flavored e-cigarettes to include ending the sale of menthol cigarettes and all other flavored tobacco products, without exemptions, in order to sufficiently address tobacco use throughout the city. 
    • ACS CAN joined public health groups and health care providers who have urged Indiana Gov. Holcomb to prioritize a $2 per pack cigarette tax increase during the 2021 legislative session, citing the critical need to address the tobacco-related health crisis across the state. It’s estimated the increase would help 100,000 Indiana residents quit or prevent tobacco addiction, and generate nearly $350 million in revenue in the first year. 
    • ACS CAN led our public health allies in Mississippi to express disappointment at the Mississippi Department of Corrections’ decision to nullify the policy that prohibits smoking inside prisons, putting the health of individuals who are incarcerated at risk. 
    • Ohio Gov. DeWine signed into law legislation establishing a Rare Disease Advisory Council, comprised of professionals, patients and caregivers living with rare diseases, that will educate medical professionals, government agencies and the public about rare diseases as an essential public health issue. ACS CAN advocated for and provided testimony in support of the legislation since several cancers are considered rare. 
    • Oregon’s voter-passed cigarette and e-cigarette tax increase took effect on Jan. 1. A $2 per-pack increase brings the state’s cigarette tax to the sixth highest in the nation and is projected to save nearly 12,000 lives and keep nearly 19,000 kids and young adults from starting to smoke. ACS CAN volunteers and staff were instrumental in the successful Measure 108 ballot campaign last fall

    Replay – Medicaid Covers US: Health Disparities and State Budget Cuts 

    ACS CAN hosted a Medicaid Covers US virtual event, Health Disparities and State Budget Cuts: Making the Case for Medicaid, during which partners from the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities discussed the historical context of budget shortfalls and how they disproportionately impact communities of color, and Dr. Thaddeus Bell, MD a physician and health equity expert provided insights on how the economic downturn and COVID-19 are exacerbating longstanding racial and health disparities in communities of color. Watch the recording here. 

    Medicaid Covers US is a public education project in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation intended to foster conversation about the value of Medicaid for the health of people and communities nationwide.  

    Advocacy in the News


  • Feb. 4 at 1 p.m. ET: Lacks family holding special event. Register now!

    Featured speakers will be her great-granddaughter and ACS CAN's Keysha Brooks-Coley.

    In honor of World Cancer Day, the family of Henrietta Lacks will be hosting a virtual event on Feb. 4 at 1 p.m. ET to discuss the recently enacted Henrietta Lacks Enhancing Cancer Research Act and how Henrietta's legacy is driving access to clinical trials and medical innovations for all.

    The World Cancer Day: Henrietta Lacks Enhancing Cancer Research for All event will feature Veronica Robinson, Henrietta Lacks' great-granddaughter, and Keysha Brooks-Coley, vice president, Federal Advocacy and Strategic Alliances, ACS CAN.

    The event is open to all staff and the public. Register here.

    The event is part of the HELA100 CELLebrate Henrietta Lacks Centennial Conversations, which gathers experts and special guests on the first of every month to advance the goal of celebrating Henrietta Lacks - one conversation at a time.  Centennial Conversations was developed as a component of HELA100: Henrietta Lacks Centennial CELLebration, a year-long series of events and initiatives the Lacks family is leading to mark the 100th birthday of Henrietta. It aims to preserve her legacy, while promoting health equity and social justice.

    Keysha, pictured to the right, will discuss the Henrietta Lacks Enhancing Cancer Research Act, signed into law in January 2021. The law directs the federal government to study policies that impact diverse participation in federally sponsored cancer clinical trials and recommend policy changes that would make it easier for patients from diverse backgrounds to enroll in clinical trials. 

    The legislation is named after Henrietta Lacks (pictured above), a Black woman who died from cervical cancer in 1951, at age 31. Her cells were taken without her knowledge or consent during her treatment at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Those cells, nicknamed "HeLa" cells, from the first two letters of her first and last name, have been used to develop some of modern medicine’s most important breakthroughs, including the development of the polio vaccine and treatments for cancer, HIV/AIDS, and Parkinson’s disease. Read more about Henrietta here.

    Keysha will discuss the role policy can play in eliminating cancer and health inequities, in addition to her own role as the head federal lobbyist for ACS CAN and leader of the organization’s federal relations team.

    Passage of the Henrietta Lacks Enhancing Cancer Research Act was a legislative priority for ACS CAN, and an important part of ACS CAN’s work to ensure that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. 

    Learn more about ACS CAN’s advocacy work to advance health equity at fightcancer.org/healthdisparities.



  • President's action strengthens patient access to care

    A new three-month sign-up period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) starts next month and changes to Medicaid will help the uninsured.

    On Jan. 28, President Biden issued several executive orders aimed at expanding potential health coverage options for those who have lost health insurance due to the coronavirus pandemic, and rolling back current policies that harm patient access to coverage.

    Included among the orders is the creation of a three-month Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for people to purchase individual health plans through the federal exchange and orders to reduce hurdles many face when trying to enroll in Medicaid or health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. It also directs agencies to examine policies that undermine the insurance marketplace and make coverage less accessible, as well as to examine ways to make coverage more affordable.

    A statement from Gary Reedy, ACS and ACS CAN CEO, follows:

    “Millions of Americans, including cancer patients, who have lost their jobs, had their hours reduced, or otherwise faced serious economic hardship due to the coronavirus have also lost their health care coverage; offering these patients a clear path to finding coverage through a special enrollment period will surely help ease some of their burden and ensure they can get necessary care. Additionally, directing agencies to reconsider rules and policies that make it difficult for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions—including nearly 17 million cancer survivors—to access comprehensive health care, and looking for ways to make that care more affordable, is an important step toward strengthening health protections for those who need it the most.

    “For those who qualify for Medicaid, the program can be a lifeline. In recent years, many low-income individuals’ eligibility has been threatened by changes to state programs that erected barriers to accessing and maintaining coverage. Today’s order to reexamine demonstrations and waivers under Medicaid that reduce coverage or undermine the program will curtail efforts to cap eligibility, limit services, or implement burdensome reporting requirements to maintain coverage. More than two million Americans with a history of cancer rely on the Medicaid program for coverage. Protecting access to the program will reduce suffering and death from this disease.

    “The health of our country and our ability to end this pandemic is dependent on individuals and their family members being able to access comprehensive health care without delay. On behalf of the millions of cancer patients, survivors, and their families, we welcome today’s action and its potential to provide comprehensive health coverage to those in need.”

  • President signs The Henrietta Lacks Enhancing Cancer Research Act

    President Trump on Jan. 5 signed into law legislation aimed at improving access to clinical trials for communities of color and decreasing health disparities. 

    The Henrietta Lacks Enhancing Cancer Research Act works to increase access and remove barriers to participation in federally sponsored cancer clinical trials among communities that are traditionally underrepresented. It directs the federal government to study policies that impact diverse participation in federally sponsored cancer clinical trials nationwide and recommend potential policy changes that would reduce barriers and make it easier for patients from diverse backgrounds to enroll in clinical trials.

    The legislation is named after Henrietta Lacks, a Black woman from Maryland who died from cervical cancer in 1951, and whose cells were taken without her knowledge or consent during her treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital. They have been used to develop some of modern medicine’s most important breakthroughs, including the development of the polio vaccine and treatments for cancer, HIV/AIDS, and Parkinson’s disease. 

    Lacks’ grandson, Alfred Lacks Carter, shared a guest blog on his grandmother’s legacy on ACS CAN’s Cancer CANdor blog on fightcancer.org

    Advancing the legislation was one of the legislative asks during the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s (ACS CAN) National Leadership Summit and Lobby Day in September and an important part of ACS CAN’s work to reduce health disparities and ensure that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat and survive cancer. 

    In a press statement, ACS CAN President Lisa A. Lacasse said, “ACS CAN is honored to have had the chance to work with Congress and the Lacks Family on this bill . . . We cannot achieve our mission of a world with less cancer until we reduce the burden of this disease across all communities.”

    For more information about ACS CAN’s advocacy work to reduce health disparities and create health equity, visit www.fightcancer.org/healthdisparities.


  • Congress increases funding for cancer research, prioritizes access to care

    Last night Congress voted on a Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 funding deal that in a tough budget environment included a $1.25 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 2020, including a nearly $1.2 million increase for the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The COVID pandemic stalled clinical trials that need robust and sustained funding to restart and advance their potentially lifesaving work, so prioritizing robust and sustained increases again in the next Congress will be more critical than ever.

    Prevention

    Congress also prioritized efforts to make cancer prevention more affordable. By passing the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act, unexpected out-of-pocket costs Medicare beneficiaries can face after a colonoscopy if a polyp is found and removed will be phased out. Individuals on private health plans enjoy full coverage of colorectal cancer screenings as a result of the Affordable Care Act, but a loophole in Medicare allows seniors to wake up to an unexpected bill amounting to hundreds of dollars. ACS CAN staff and volunteers advocated tirelessly for this legislation for the last decade and helped to secure overwhelming bipartisan support in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) budget includes a $5.8 million increase for cancer control programs. There is an additional $7.5 million for the Office on Smoking and Health (OSH). The bill also requires in-person age verification when online purchases of e-cigarette and vaping products are delivered in an effort to address the youth e-cigarette epidemic

    Access to Care

    Additionally, as part of the year-end package Congress passed the No Surprises Act to prohibit surprise medical billing, a significant step in the right direction to reduce surprise out-of-pocket costs for patients. These costs can often result in forced changes to treatment due to inability to pay and, thus, poorer health outcomes.

    The bill requires Medicaid to cover routine health care costs associated with clinical trials with the inclusion of the Clinical Treatment Act. Every cancer patient who wants to participate in a trial should be able to do so without incurring unjust costs regardless of what kind of insurance they have. This change will provide Medicaid patients greater access to clinical trials. The bill also requires state Medicaid programs to cover non-emergency medical transportation to ensure that beneficiaries who lack access to regular transportation are able to travel to their medical appointments.

    Nonprofit Relief

    Finally, the bill has numerous coronavirus-related relief provisions, including extending a provision to allow charitable donations of up to $600 for a couple and $300 for an individual to be deducted from 2021 taxes under the universal charitable deduction. The deductions will encourage those who can donate to do so during a time when charities which have long served communities have seen increased demand, but received fewer contributions amidst the pandemic-driven economic downturn.

    For more information on the FY 2021 spending deal, please see the press statement from American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network President Lisa A. Lacasse. To learn more about ACS CAN’s federal legislative priorities, visit fightcancer.org. The full press release can be found at: https://www.fightcancer.org/releases/nih-and-nci-funding-increased-fy-2021-budget-deal-access-care-prioritized.

  • House votes to close colorectal cancer screening loophole

    ACS CAN urges the Senate to take up the bill.

    On Dec. 9, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act that would phase out surprise out-of-pocket expenses that can act as a barrier to lifesaving colorectal cancer screenings for Medicare beneficiaries.

    Colorectal cancer screenings are covered in full under private health insurance plans as a result of the preventive care provisions of the Affordable Care Act. However, a loophole in Medicare allows for cost-sharing if a polyp is discovered and removed during a screening colonoscopy resulting in Medicare beneficiaries receiving a surprise bill after the procedure, often in the hundreds of dollars. Evidence shows that any potential cost-sharing can deter people from getting a preventive, and potentially lifesaving, screening.

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

    “In a show of strong, bipartisan support, the U.S. House of Representatives has taken a stand to protect more Americans from colorectal cancer. We know colorectal cancer can be prevented with regular screenings, and that it is more treatable when found early. Yet too many individuals on Medicare are forced to forego this procedure due to the fear of an unexpected cost. Thanks to the House of Representatives’ action today to phase out cost-sharing for colorectal cancer screenings in Medicare, we can further reduce suffering and death from this preventable disease.”

    “Closing the loophole that allows Medicare to charge seniors cost-sharing for colonoscopies when a polyp is found and removed has been a longtime priority for ACS CAN. Our volunteers have worked tirelessly with their Members of Congress to extend to Medicare beneficiaries the coverage and peace of mind that individuals on private health plans currently enjoy.

    “With nearly 150,000 individuals in America expected to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year alone and more than 53,000 estimated to die from the disease, ACS CAN and our volunteers across the country strongly urge the Senate to take up and pass this important policy before the end of the 116th Congress. Doing so will help increase colorectal cancer screenings rates and save lives.”


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