Letters to the Editor

Cancer patients, survivors need promises kept

My sister is a cancer survivor and her health coverage is her lifeline. You can imagine how much it meant to me when Rep. Rod Blum and Sen. Joni Ernst made public statements that they would protect cancer survivors and ensure that whatever policy changes were made to the health care law, my sister’s access to health coverage would not be threatened.

I’m calling on them to make good on that promise, as a rule proposed by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar threatens access to coverage. This rule would extend the availability of short-term health plans, lengthening the time they are available without requiring them to comply with critical patient protections.

This is a problem for my family, as well as cancer patients and survivors nationwide, not to mention anyone at risk of developing this disease. Short-term plans are allowed to deny coverage to those who have a history of a cancer diagnosis, and more comprehensive coverage that my sister needs for recommended follow up will likely cost more — a lot more — than plans sold to younger, healthier individuals.

Rep. Blum and Sen. Ernst, I’m counting on you to urge Secretary Alex Azar to stop the flawed short-term plan regulation from moving forward so people like my sister who live with the fear of their cancer returning can have the peace of mind of knowing if it does, they are covered.

Jen Lellig

Cedar Rapids

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