The current health law needs improvements and something needs to be done to help with affordability.
However, decreasing premium costs only to increase overall out-of-pocket expenses and decrease coverage benefits, especially for someone with a serious disease like cancer, is exactly the wrong approach to fixing the health care system.
The current proposal on the table, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), including the recently added MacArthur Amendment, are a bait and switch for the people who access the health care system the most. By allowing states to opt out of providing Essential Health Benefits, you may reduce up-front costs in some scenarios -- but you are actually creating a system with bare bones coverage plans that push significant costs onto patients who access care -- particularly cancer care.
As a volunteer with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, I know a number of cancer survivors and I know how expensive it can be, given how frequently they need to access the health care system. They need to know that the coverage they buy provides access to the treatments and services they need. The AHCA as written could easily price them out of the insurance market -- essentially penalizing them for having a pre-existing condition.
This is not the promised "fix" I was hoping for and it certainly won't work for cancer patients and survivors. Thank you for standing up for cancer patients and others who depend on the patient protections in the current health law. I appreciate your "no" vote, Rep. Dave Joyce. I urge Sen. Rob Portman to vote against the AHCA and to instead work in bipartisan way to improve the health care system for everyone.