Beware of GOP Bill and Cancer Coverage

Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C Program Manager, Oncology Social Work

MARCH 24, 2017

Sometimes politics just cannot be ignored. I realize that today's entry will have a pretty short shelf life of interest, but it seems vital this morning. As everyone knows, the planned House vote for repeal and replace the ACA has been delayed until today. The more details that are coming out, the more alarming the proposed bill seems to be.

I am going to try hard here to zip my mouth and just share this New York Times summary. If this matters to you, call your representative right now and urge him/her to vote "no".

Late G.O.P. Proposal Could Mean Plans
That Cover Aromatherapy but Not
Margot Sanger-Katz @sangerkatz

Most Republicans in Congress prefer the type of health insurance market in which everyone could “choose the plan that’s right for them.”
Why should a 60-year-old man have to buy a plan that includes maternity benefits he’ll never use? (This is an example that comes up a lot.) In contrast, the Affordable Care Act includes a list of benefits that have to be in every plan, a reality that makes insurance comprehensive, but often costly.
Now, a group of conservative House members is trying to cut a deal to get those benefit requirements eliminated as part of the bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act moving through Congress. (The vote in the House is expected later today.)
At first glance, this may sound like a wonderful policy. Why should that 60- year-old man have to pay for maternity benefits he will never use? If 60-year-old men don’t need to pay for benefits they won’t use, the price of insurance will come down, and more people will be able to afford that coverage, the thinking goes. And people who want fancy coverage with extra benefits can just pay a little more for
the plan that’s right for them.
But there are two main problems with stripping away minimum benefit rules. One is that the meaning of “health insurance” can start to become a little murky. The second is that, in a world in which no one has to offer maternity coverage, no insurance company wants to be the only one that offers it.

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Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.
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