Congress: Expand access to quality, affordable health care

There are currently more than 2 million people living in the Medicaid Coverage Gap who lack access to affordable, quality health care simply because of where they live.

These 2 million people live in 12 states that have failed to expand Medicaid. Leaders in these states have made a choice based on politics instead of the health needs of families. Because of these political decisions, people who may need to see a doctor can't… people living with cancer may not even know they have cancer because they can't afford to get screened. What's more, 60% of these uninsured are people of color.

In these 12 states, income, race and where you live might determine whether you live.

This isn't right. Congress is currently negotiating a legislative package that they could vote on within the coming months.

We need Congress to include provisions to:

  • Close the Medicaid Coverage Gap to expand access to quality, affordable health care to the more than 2 million people currently living without it.
  • Make permanent the expanded Affordable Care Act subsidies that have reduced the costs of health care coverage for millions of Americans.
  • Reduce the cost of prescription drugs for seniors and others on Medicare.

Affordable cancer care is past due. Cancer patients and their families need our help. Please send a message today to your members of Congress and ask them to make sure these provisions are included in the next legislative package.

As a constituent and volunteer for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), I am writing to urge you to help people to better access affordable health care by closing the Medicaid coverage gap and extending the expansion of Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace subsidies. 

Since passage of the Affordable Care Act, 38 states and the District of Columbia have expanded eligibility for Medicaid to all people in their states with low incomes. But 12 states still have not expanded their programs. As a result, an estimated 2.2 million low-income adults who would benefit from Medicaid if their state expanded coverage are now in the "coverage gap," uninsured and unable to access affordable health insurance. Research shows that Medicaid expansion helps improve cancer outcomes, reduces health inequities, and lessens the burden of cancer by offering access to prevention services, timely cancer screening, and early detection services. Please work to provide sustained, affordable, adequate health insurance coverage to people in the coverage gap.

The American Rescue Plan, enacted in March 2021, provided more generous subsidies for people purchasing health insurance in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces. During the 2021 special enrollment period created in response to the COVID pandemic, 2.8 million Americans enrolled in health insurance coverage through these marketplaces. Those who were newly enrolled or returning enrollees after the expanded subsidies were put in place saved an average of 50% in premiums, and nearly half of customers with a new plan selection were able to select plans for $10 or less per month. I hope you will work with your Congressional colleagues to make permanent the more generous subsidies provided for people buying their health coverage through the ACA marketplaces. This is critically important for people with cancer, people at risk of cancer, and survivors.

Thank you for considering these requests, and for all you do for people with cancer and their families.

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