WASHINGTON – One of the nation’s leading patient advocacy organizations Thursday urged congressional Republicans not to repeal the Affordable Care Act without first offering a replacement, joining the growing list of voices urging the GOP to slow its Obamacare repeal push.
“As members of Congress consider the future of the Affordable Care Act, it is critically important that cancer patients, survivors and those at risk of the disease don’t face any gap in coverage of prevention and treatment,” American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network President Chris Hansen said. “Replacement health care legislation that accompanies repeal needs to provide recognized patient protections that currently exist.”
Congressional Republicans have been working on plans to pass legislation early next year, rolling back major portions of the 2010 health law, including its Medicaid expansion and its system of insurance subsidies to help low- and middle-income Americans buy health coverage.
Senior GOP lawmakers say they intend to delay implementation of the repeal for two or three years to give themselves time to develop an alternative.
But many health care experts believe this approach will cause significant disruptions in the nation’s health care system, jeopardizing coverage for millions of Americans.
And major industry leaders – including insurers and hospitals – have been calling privately and publicly for a more measured approach.
“Delaying enactment of a replacement for two or three years, and leaving insurers without any certainty in projecting risk, could lead to the collapse of the individual health insurance market with long-term consequences,” Hansen said.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network played an important role pushing for the coverage expansions made possible by the current health law.
That expansion has brought health coverage to more than 20 million previously uninsured Americans, surveys indicate.
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