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Speak Up, Speak Out: END THE UNCERTAINTY

Posted on February 22, 2017

One of the most important services provided by the Colon Cancer Alliance is our free Helpline. Last year we helped more than 13,000 families deal with the myriad of issues that stem from a colon cancer diagnosis.

In this time of uncertainty, some of the common questions we receive from patients we simply cannot answer: What is going to happen to my health insurance with the repeal of the Affordable Care Act? These patients are not calling to talk politics –for them, access to health insurance is not a political issue but literally a matter of life and death.

This blog was written by Executive Management Consultant Eric Hargis.

The healthcare environment right now is one of uncertainty. The only thing we do know is that the Affordable Care Act will be repealed.

The Colon Cancer Alliance delayed writing this blog because the House Republicans had a meeting on February 16th, wherein it was anticipated they might announce details on their replacement plan. The statements coming out of the meeting were long standing broad ideological elements such as tax-credits, health-savings accounts, and state high-risk pools.  But there were no specifics that would yet answer the questions our patients are asking about access to health insurance.

When you’re on a sinking ship, you first patch the hole in your boat before you worry about plotting a course for home.

The hole in the Affordable Care Act is the health insurance exchange markets. Some of our patients live in state where only one insurance plan is available. What happens to them if that carrier stops providing coverage? The recent news that Humana will stop selling individual plans in ACA-mandated state marketplaces fuels the fear and uncertainty.

With six years and having voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act more than 70 times, Congress has had time to develop a replacement plan. The reason it isn’t done yet is the fact that healthcare in America is an incredibly complex issue with no simple solution and no consensus on the best fix. It is important Congress not rush to complete an overhaul just because of political urgency.

What Congress must do immediately is end the uncertainty for patients by addressing the health insurance exchange market.

Dealing with a chronic disease like colon cancer creates incredible fear and anxiety, there should not be the concern of whether or not their health insurance is going to disappear. If Congress can fix the hole in the ship by shoring up the exchange market it will provide the stability we urgently need.

What do you think Congress should do regarding the uncertainty of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act?  Please share your comments and, as always, be sure to Speak Up and Speak Out.

photo credit: swanksalot Letter from Health Insurance Marketplace via photopin (license)

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