As a cancer survivor and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network volunteer advocate, I know the importance of access to quality, affordable health coverage. I’m alive because of it.
As Idaho’s members of Congress consider replacing the Affordable Care Act, it’s critical they remember that cancer patients and survivors cannot experience any gaps in coverage. Roughly 7,300 Idahoans will be diagnosed with cancer this year. Like me, they’ll rely on this health care lifeline.
Without insurance, people are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer at later stages when it is costlier to treat and they’re more likely to die. More than 30 million people, including many cancer patients and survivors, now have insurance with the current law. Roughly 94,300 Idahoans received insurance through the Marketplace.
Any replacement plan must keep the current protections benefiting cancer patients and survivors. We shouldn’t worry about being denied coverage for a pre-existing condition or fear we’ll be dropped from insurance if our cancer returns.
Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, Reps. Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador — when considering changing the health care law — should keep me and my fellow Idaho cancer patients and survivors in mind. We’re counting on them.
Laurie Barrerra, Garden City