Leah Ralph on ACCC's Concerns With GOP Healthcare Reform Proposals

Negotiations among House Republicans have led to a compromise that would amend the American Health Care Act and the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) is concerned the amendment would undermine patient protections that are important for people with cancer, said Leah Ralph, director of health Policy at ACCC. 

What is the Association of Community Cancer Centers' take on the latest GOP proposals to reform healthcare in the United States?
We've seen in recent days, we have seen some negotiation between the heads of the Freedom Caucus and the moderate Republican group on the House side. And there is an effort to sort of find a path forward on the ACA repeal bill. The new amendment language that we've seen is really allowing states more flexibility to implement a lot of the insurance provisions in the ACA. So things like the essential health benefits, community health rating—it's allowing states to apply for waivers to allow insurers to opt out of those requirements.

ACCC's position has been on the ACA repeal bill that we really want to maintain those critical patient protections in the bill that seem particularly critical for cancer patients who, inherently with cancer you can't predict what your out-of-pocket costs will be, that you will be diagnosed with cancer, and that population really needs access to comprehensive, affordable insurance coverage. So there are some concerns, I think, with this new amendment that would change the underlying American Health Care Act that we've seen.

It's unclear at this point how many states would even apply for these waivers, what the impact would really be, but there are concerns abut underminding a lot of those patient protections that we gained in the Affordable Care Act.
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