National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS) Chief Executive Officer David F. Arons, JD, released the following statement on the Senate’s current healthcare reform legislation (H.R.1628, Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017):
“When the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), we issued this statement to express our concerns with the bill. Specifically, we worried that critical protections for patients with serious illnesses that require significant and ongoing medical interventions, like those with brain tumors, were not adequately addressed in its plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.
Last week, the U.S. Senate released the draft text of its own healthcare reform legislation, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). Today, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued its analysis of the bill. What is clear from the CBO and other analyses is that, while the BCRA’s current draft does take some steps to ameliorate patient protections, ultimately this bill, if passed, may still constitute a detriment to brain tumor patients by removing the certainty of coverage for essential health benefits provided under current law through Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.
Therefore, we urge the Senate’s leadership to reconsider its draft and place the healthcare necessities of the most vulnerable patients at the center of future discussions on healthcare reform legislation.
NBTS advocates that any future changes to national healthcare policy ensures the ability of brain tumor patients of all socioeconomic backgrounds to access and afford the entire scope of healthcare their illness requires. Proposals that could compromise and/or constrict enrollment, coverage, and benefits for certain “at-risk” groups of patients would result in a significant, negative impact on the brain tumor community.
We look forward to working with Congress to make positive changes aimed at providing brain tumor patients the ability to access the kind of robust and specialized care needed to improve survival and quality of life.”