NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA – The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) expressed its deep concerns with the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which narrowly passed the U.S. House of Representatives today. Multiple myeloma is the second most common blood cancer. Despite the advances in treating this disease, many challenges persist, including access to health insurance, timely treatment, and the ability to receive proper care, which is vital to survivorship. Robin Roland Levy, IMF’s Senior Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, released the following statement regarding the bill’s passage:
“The IMF understands the AHCA was designed with the intention of giving states more flexibility and lowering costs for all, but we have deep concerns about how the AHCA will affect the most vulnerable members of our society. Specifically, we have concerns about how certain provisions within the bill will affect individuals with preexisting conditions and those who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion.
“We do not believe high-risk pools are a viable long-term solution for people with preexisting conditions. Over the years, high-risk pools have proven to be unsuccessful. Individuals living in states implementing these policies have found their life-saving treatments become prohibitively expensive because they cannot receive healthcare coverage.
“Multiple myeloma patients need access to quality healthcare, without facing the barriers that could stem from this well intentioned, but misguided legislation. Patients fighting myeloma and all forms of cancer need timely access to the best care possible in order to improve their chances of surviving their disease and this legislation could prevent their access to care.
“While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has faced its own hurdles, our organization represents countless individuals who have greatly benefited from the ACA. The IMF remains committed to working with legislators on both sides of the aisle to find solutions that will truly help cancer patients and the most vulnerable in our society.”