The date is set to repeal ACA.
Will you join Critical Mass: The Young Adult Cancer Alliance?
January 27. That is the date Congress has set as the deadline to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In less than 10 days, more than 20 million Americans who have access to health care through ACA could lose coverage.
When the Critical Mass Board of Directors asked me to take on the transition to full-time federal advocacy, no one predicted that Donald Trump had a chance of becoming President of the United States. We weren’t the only ones blindsided. Leaders in every industry from business to journalism planned to work with a divided government, a Republican Congress and Democratic White House. Instead, we have a government fully controlled by one political party that actively campaigned to completely repeal ACA.
And now, they are making good on that promise. For adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer between 15 and 39 years of age this means:
- Payors could be able to drop coverage due to a pre-existing condition,
- Children may no longer have access to health care through their parent’s insurance after turning 18, and
- The ban on lifetime caps on benefits could be lifted.
We know that access to insurance is one of the most critical barriers to adolescents and young adults surviving a cancer diagnosis and thriving after treatment. Our already underserved community may find it even harder to receive the care they need after January 27. Now is the time for Critical Mass and the adolescent and young adult cancer community to stand together and ensure our community is represented in today’s health care debate.
Last week, I spoke with the Critical Mass Board and we agreed on the urgency of the need to formally coordinate our community through a dues-paying membership structure. While we anticipated this eventual step, the timing has unfortunately accelerated due to current events, and we apologize if it comes as a surprise. However, we cannot fight in DC without your support and we cannot depend on other organizations speaking up on our behalf. No one — not other cancer advocacy groups and not federal policymakers — is talking about how adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer will be impacted by repeal.
As a unified Alliance, Critical Mass will be your advocate in Washington, DC working full-time to ensure adolescents and young adults impacted by cancer have a voice and their needs are reflected when policymakers are shaping legislation and orders.
Support for Critical Mass this quarter will ensure we have the capacity and resources needed to get in front of our federal policymakers and address the needs of the adolescent and young adult cancer community. A special thanks to the following Transition Task Force members and AYA community leaders who have already pledged their support:
- Stupid Cancer
- Teen Cancer America
- Nationwide Children’s Hospital
- TH!NK DIFFERENT Foundation
- Aunt Bertha
- Lacuna Loft
I look forward to working with you this year to build an alliance that meets your organization’s strategic goals and supports a full-time federal advocacy program on behalf of all adolescents and young adults impacted by cancer in the United States.