As lawmakers deliberate which health care priorities to include in the budget reconciliation package, the
An estimated 2.2 million low-income adults in the 12 states that have not yet expanded Medicaid are now in the "coverage gap," uninsured and unable to qualify for affordable health insurance. Included in the reconciliation legislation passed by the House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees is a provision developing a new health care coverage option in states that have not expanded Medicaid.
"More than two million people - including cancer patients and survivors - are being denied access to the affordable, potentially lifesaving health care they deserve simply because of where they live," said
Extensive and robust research shows that uninsured individuals are more likely to have cancer diagnosed at an advanced stage when survival is less likely. Medicaid expansion helps improve cancer outcomes by offering access to prevention services, timely cancer screening and early detection services. Inequitable access to affordable insurance coverage is also a key factor in the health disparities experienced by communities of color and other populations.
"Closing the Medicaid coverage gap is, at its core, a racial equity issue," said Lacasse. "We know that more than 60 percent of those in the coverage gap are people of color, a reflection of the longstanding and pervasive disparities in health care. ACS CAN's deep commitment to eliminating cancer disparities compels us to implore our elected officials to take action we know will meaningfully impact our goal of achieving equitable access to care for all."
ACS CAN launched a new advertising campaign this week emphasizing the hurdles to cancer care faced by those forced into the coverage gap in the 12 non-expansion states. The ads will run in print and digital publications in the D.C. market through late October. Additional ads will also run in
Cancer advocates nationwide have made clear their support for this effort through letters to the editor in their local newspapers and in direct messages and phone calls to their lawmakers. ACS CAN also joined with the Partnership to Protect Coverage coalition, organizations that represent millions of patients and consumers facing serious, acute and chronic health conditions, to send a letter to congressional leadership stating support for a permanent federal Medicaid fix.
While ACS CAN continues to advocate for a federal fix, our work to encourage individual states to expand continues in earnest as well. In
"ACS CAN will continue to speak out strongly and passionately about the need for a permanent solution to the Medicaid coverage gap, as well as advocate to maintain and strengthen access to coverage in states that have expanded Medicaid," said Lacasse. "The health of millions of Americans is on the line. Our elected officials must not let this moment pass."
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To: The Honorable
As organizations that represent millions of patients and consumers who face serious, acute and chronic health conditions, we urge you to enact permanent policies that expand access to quality and affordable healthcare in the Fiscal Year 2022 budget reconciliation process.
Specifically, we ask that you act swiftly to permanently close the Medicaid coverage gap and make the enhanced advance premium tax credits (APTCs) permanent in the Fiscal Year 2022 budget reconciliation process.
Medicaid is a vitally important program for the patients and individuals we represent. Individuals who fall in the Medicaid coverage gap in the 12 remaining non-expansion states are among the poorest in America and disproportionally represent communities of color. Expansion incentives included in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) continue to play a dynamic role in states that are actively exploring expanding. It is therefore critical that
For those states that are unlikely to expand, however, it is imperative that the federal government take steps to provide permanent coverage that ensures the full benefits and cost-sharing protections typically offered in Medicaid. Our organizations urge that the solution to close the Medicaid coverage gap be permanent, in order to ensure that patients' access to quality and affordable coverage not be jeopardized in the future. We also ask that the reconciliation package include provisions that ensure that states that have already expanded maintain that coverage.
Our organizations ask that
Cc: The Honorable