Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP), recently released The Affordable Health Choices Act. The bill aims to reduce health care costs, protect individuals’ choices of doctors, hospitals and insurance plans and guarantee, quality and affordable health care for all Americans.
The legislation would require all individuals to have health insurance, ban insurers from refusing to cover pre-existing conditions, and establish online exchanges where the uninsured and employees of small companies could shop for affordable insurance.
C3 strongly supports the belief that affordable health care ought to be available to all Americans regardless of their pre-existing conditions. The issue of prohibiting insurers from excluding individual with pre-existing conditions should be of the utmost importance to the entire cancer community. Currently, our laws allow significant gaps in coverage. These gaps are particularly disturbing for Americans struggling to treat or maintain a pre-existing condition, such as colorectal cancer.
Health care reform is long overdue. Senator Kennedy has mentioned in the past how his own personal battle with cancer has shown him the need for health care reform. “We have the greatest doctors and medical innovations in the world, but more and more Americans are on the outside looking in to a world of progress and discovery that is denied to them because they cannot afford quality healthcare.” Kennedy went on to say, “When successful reform takes hold, the American people will wonder what has taken us so long.” (The Boston Globe)