ASCO Responds to Supreme Court Ruling on Health-care Law


Get Permission

ASCO will continue to work with policy makers to protect and retain these core patient safeguards that are critical to individuals who have cancer or who are at risk for cancer.

— Sandra M. Swain, MD

When the Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on June 28, ASCO released a statement by ASCO President Sandra M. Swain, MD, Medical Director of the Washington Cancer Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

Critically Important Provisions

In the statement, Dr. Swain highlighted some of the provisions contained in the Affordable Care Act “that are critically important to the treatment and screening of cancer, and will help eliminate disparities in patients with cancer.” These provisions, most of which have enjoyed significant bipartisan support, include:

Protections for patient access to preventive screening for cancer. The Affordable Care Act includes safeguards to provide coverage of preventive screenings for cancer without charging copayments or coinsurance to individuals. This applies to private health-care insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid. Promoting access to preventive screenings is an important step that will save lives and improve the quality of care through earlier diagnosis and better outcomes.

  • Protections to help vulnerable individuals with cancer secure and retain access to health-care insurance. The legislation requires insurers to allow individuals to remain covered under their parents’ health insurance plan until at least age 26. The Act also eliminates lifetime caps on insurance coverage.
  • Safeguards for individuals with cancer and other preexisting conditions. The Affordable Care Act ensures that individuals are not excluded from enrolling in a health insurance plan on the basis of preexisting conditions.
  • Protections for patient access to clinical trials. The Affordabe Care Act ensures that individuals with cancer are covered under private insurance if they and their physicians determine enrollment in a clinical trial is their best option. This protection already exists for Medicare beneficiaries.

“As the ongoing policy debate unfolds, ASCO will continue to work with policy makers to protect and retain these core patient safeguards that are critical to individuals who have cancer or who are at risk for cancer,” Dr. Swain said. ■

© 2012. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.


Advertisement

Advertisement



Advertisement