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ACS CAN: Latest Senate health bill is worse for patients

Below is the press statement ACS CAN President Chris Hansen sent today to national political, health policy, and congressional reporters regarding the revised Senate health bill:

“The latest proposed changes to the Senate health care bill would make access to health coverage worse for those with pre-existing conditions like cancer. The reluctance by senators to include patient feedback and other relevant stakeholder perspectives in the process is preventing the development of a reasonable, bipartisan consensus that could improve the law and pass the Senate.

“This bill would leave patients and those with pre-existing conditions paying more for less coverage and would substantially erode the progress our nation has been trying to make in providing affordable, adequate and meaningful coverage to all Americans.

“Allowing insurance companies to sell bare-bones, tax credit eligible, catastrophic plans would create a segmented insurance market and essentially return cancer patients, survivors and anyone with a serious illness to an underfunded high-risk pool where a patients’ out-of-pocket costs could be unaffordable and coverage potentially inadequate.

“The bill’s ‘stability funds’ to supplement these markets would fall woefully short and leave many patients unable to access, afford or maintain critical health coverage. This would be compounded by significant Medicaid cuts that would take away coverage from the working poor and the nation’s most vulnerable and would result in a patchwork system in which where you live may determine if you live.

“We urge Senators to reject this legislation and come together to undertake a deliberate and inclusive process that would arrive at a bill that strengthens coverage and improves affordability for cancer patients, survivors and all those at risk for the disease.”

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