Anti-cancer group warns GOP against Medicaid cuts

Anti-cancer group warns GOP against Medicaid cuts
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The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the advocacy arm of the American Cancer Society, is urging Republicans not to include Medicaid cuts in healthcare legislation. 

Chris Hansen, president of ACS CAN, wrote to Republican governors on Monday ahead of what the organization said were expected to be calls between governors and Senate Republican leadership this week. 

“As passed by the House, AHCA could leave cancer patients and survivors — young, old and across all income ranges — unable to access or keep quality health insurance,” Hansen wrote, referring to the American Health Care Act, the name for the House GOP ObamaCare replacement bill. 

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The cancer society urged Republicans not to cut Medicaid, as the House bill does.

“We urge you to engage Congress to make sure that the federal commitment to, and funding support for both traditional and Medicaid expansion is not reduced, and that the flexibility in current law that allows states to expand Medicaid eligibility is continued,” Hansen wrote to Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican governor whose state expanded Medicaid under ObamaCare. 

Hansen also opposed the provision in the House bill that allows states to request waivers to opt out of ObamaCare rules that prevent people from being charged more based on their health and require insurance plans to cover a range of health services. 

While that move could lower premiums for the healthy, Hansen wrote, “these lower premiums would be the direct result of eliminating thousands of people with pre-existing conditions like cancer patients and survivors from the insurance rolls, as well as foregoing the requirement to cover a minimum standard of coverage adequate to treat diseases such as cancer.”