Rye Brook, N.Y., Sept. 17, 2021—The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society thanks members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee and the House Ways & Means Committee who voted to take critical steps to reduce barriers to care and increase affordability for many of the nearly 1.5 million people in the U.S. living with blood cancer. These crucial reforms will ensure more people can get the treatment they need at the moment they need it.
Millions of Americans, including cancer patients, obtained more affordable health insurance this year due to new, enhanced Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTCs). However, that support expires at the end of 2022. Cancer patients must have quality health insurance, as most cancer treatments are unaffordable without it. By making those credits permanent, the committees have seized an important opportunity to ensure even more patients can get covered.
Blood cancer patients covered by Medicare Part D — and millions of other Americans with serious, chronic conditions — are counting on Congress to finally cap the limitless out-of-pocket costs they face for self-administered prescription drugs. Too many patients covered by Medicare Part D make the gut-wrenching choice each month between paying for treatment they need to survive and paying for necessities like groceries or rent. By placing a cap on those costs, and allowing patients to smooth them out over time, Congress can ensure patients aren’t forced to forego life-saving drugs. We’re glad to see the committees are advancing these reforms.
We are encouraged by the committees’ work to bring Medicaid coverage to 2.2 million Americans with low incomes. Each of those individuals is ineligible for the program simply because they live in one of a handful of states that chooses not to extend this coverage. Medicaid is a lifeline for 1 in 5 Americans, and no one should be denied access to this vital program just because they live on the wrong side of a state line. Closing the Medicaid coverage gap is an important step towards addressing health inequities in our country. Patients have waited far too long for a solution, and they’re eager to see Congress pass a solution.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and blood cancer patients nationwide, are encouraged by the opportunity before us. We are committed to working with Congress to ensure blood cancer patients and other people with pre-existing conditions see reforms signed into law that make health insurance and cancer care more affordable.
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.
Ryan Holeywell, Senior Director, Advocacy Communications