On June 22, 2017, the U.S. Senate released the Better Care Reconciliation Act, its version of the healthcare reform legislation that would replace the Affordable Care Act. In May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA, H.R. 1628), which is that chamber’s version of the same bill.
Lack of insurance or inadequate healthcare coverage adversely affects health, and uninsured individuals are less likely to receive preventive care and more likely to receive inadequate or delayed treatment. Quality care requires safety, efficacy, timeliness, a patient-centered approach coordinated by a multidisciplinary team, and the integration of evidence-based practice to continuously improve care.
The Senate’s bill goes against the tenets of providing quality, accessible care to patients with cancer—a central focus to the Oncology Nursing Society's work. This proposed legislation would adversely affect the patients for whom we care, and we encourage our U.S. senators to vote against it.
The proposed legislation in the U.S. Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act would:
Reinstate the annual and lifetime coverage caps, which impacts patients with cancer.
Eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund that provide screenings.
Reduce the Medicaid expansion efforts to the states for those most in need.
Limit essential health benefits to access for care and treatment.
This legislation will have a disproportionately negative impact on patients with cancer. ONS joins the nursing and cancer communities, along with more than 50 national nursing organizations, in opposing this legislation.
ONS is a professional association of more than 39,000 members committed to promoting excellence in oncology nursing and the transformation of cancer care. Since 1975, ONS has provided a professional community for oncology nurses, developed evidence-based education programs and treatment information, and advocated for patient care, all in an effort to improve quality of life and outcomes for patients with cancer and their families. Learn more at www.ons.org