Enacted in 1997 by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides health care coverage to 9 million U.S. children and pregnant women. The program is jointly funded by states and the federal government to provide coverage to uninsured children who are not eligible for Medicaid but whose families cannot afford private coverage. CHIP plans allow children to access pediatricians, pediatric specialists, and children’s hospitals. CHIP is particularly important in the lives of children facing life-threatening illnesses, like cancer, who would not have access to treatment without the program.
Just when we started to hope that the debate over the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was at an end, a new plan to repeal and replace the law has been introduced. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) have introduced a bill that would be devastating to individuals living with chronic illness including those who have been impacted by cancer.
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind as it seems that every day there was a new bill or amendment that further threatened access to health care. Although the U.S. House of Representatives passed their legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as the ACA or “Obamacare”) in May, by the end of July, Senate Republicans had tried and failed at every turn to pass their own companion legislation. Although, their efforts were unsuccessful this time, there is still a great risk to our health care system. In this brief break from debate, we want to provide you with a brief summary of action so far and an analysis of the risks still to come.
This week the Cancer Support Community, along with six other leading cancer organizations, hosted the Cancer Moonshot: One Year Later, an event continuing the momentum of the Cancer Moonshot Initiative. The initiative works to increase research funding and accelerate cancer discoveries. Researchers, oncologists, care providers, philanthropists, data and tech experts, advocates, patients and survivors all work together toward the Moonshot goal: to make a decade’s worth of advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care in just five years.
As members of the U.S. Senate take time during the Memorial recess to consider the American Health Care Act (AHCA), advocates should take a moment to speak out about what this legislation might mean for their healthcare coverage and access to care.