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LLS Applauds House Passage of Critical Health Reforms

Rye Brook, N.Y., Nov. 19, 2021 — The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society applauds passage of critical patient-friendly reforms by the U.S. House of Representatives. The provisions, components of the Build Back Better Act, represent a key step towards ensuring millions of people — including cancer patients and survivors — have access to quality, affordable healthcare. LLS urges the U.S. Senate to pass these policies without delay.

“Today, we’re celebrating alongside cancer patients,” said Gwen Nichols, M.D., LLS Chief Medical Officer. “These crucial reforms will ensure more people can get the lifesaving treatment they need at the moment they need it.”

“Patients are counting on the U.S. Senate to get these reforms across the finish line. For some patients, their lives depend on it.”

In particular, LLS is encouraged by three major reforms included in the House-passed Build Back Better Act:

  • A new $2,000 cap on Medicare patients’ out-of-pocket prescription drug costs that also allows patients to spread those costs out over the course of the year. Today, Medicare patients face limitless prescription drug costs – many spend $10,000 or more annually on treatment – and their payments are frontloaded at the start of the year.
  • The extension of new enhanced Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTCs) that reduce the cost of health insurance premiums for millions of people. More than 1 million people obtained health coverage for less than $10 per month after APTCs were implemented in April.
  • Important progress towards closing the Medicaid coverage gap, which has blocked 2.2 million Americans with low incomes from getting health coverage. About 60% of those patients are people of color. 

“A cancer treatment you can’t afford is a cancer treatment you can’t access,” Nichols said. “The actions today bring many patients one step closer to lifesaving treatments. These reforms not only improve the health of the country but also improve health equity. Studies show patients of color are more likely to abandon their cancer treatments because of high costs.”

While the enhanced APTCs and coverage gap reforms are temporary, they will provide immediate relief to millions. Once these policies are signed into law, LLS looks forward to working with lawmakers to make these changes permanent and ensure healthcare is affordable for patients – for good.

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is the global leader in the fight against blood cancer. The LLS mission: cure leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.