by Sam Hieb
While following Twitter coverage (JLF feeds here and here of yesterday’s General Assembly debate on the impact of the Affordable Care Act, I couldn’t but notice that one of friends on the left evoked cancer:
Tax credits instead of health coverage for minimum wage workers ought to help if they have a brain tumor. That ought to work.
With that in mind AP –no right-wing rag —–dug into access to the country’s best cancer centers under the ACA:
Some of America’s best cancer hospitals are off-limits to many of the people now signing up for coverage under the nation’s new health care program.
…Before President Barack Obama’s health care law, a cancer diagnosis could make you uninsurable. Now, insurers can’t turn away people with health problems or charge them more. Lifetime dollar limits on policies, once a financial trap-door for cancer patients, are also banned.
The new obstacles are more subtle.
To keep premiums low, insurers have designed narrow networks of hospitals and doctors. The government-subsidized private plans on the exchanges typically offer less choice than Medicare or employer plans.
By not including a top cancer center, an insurer can cut costs. It also may shield itself from risk, delivering an implicit message to cancer survivors or people with a strong family history of the disease that they should look elsewhere.
The good news is Duke Cancer Institute is accessible through all insurers. North Carolina is also not-so-high profile cancer centers, including Gboro’s own Cone Health Cancer Center. Bottom line is with all the problems so far with the ACA, the surface has not yet been scratched.