National Breast Cancer Coalition

National Breast Cancer Coalition Statement on H.R. 1628, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017

June22, 2017

“Senate Republicans have introduced a bill that could have a devastating impact on women and men with breast cancer."

Washington, DC – Today, Senate Republicans revealed their version of the health care bill. This version is, in many areas, worse than the bill passed by the House.  The bill text comes after weeks of closed door meetings and secretive negotiations. If signed into law, this bill could leave millions of Americans without access to affordable health care coverage. The Senate is poised to vote on the bill next week.

“Renaming the bill does not change the catastrophic effects this legislation could have for millions of Americans who need access to comprehensive and affordable health care.  Any way you look at it, women and men with breast cancer and those at risk face serious consequences should this bill become law," said Fran Visco. "The median age for invasive breast cancer is 62- yet this bill would charge older Americans up to 5 times more for basic coverage. Cutting Medicaid and charging older Americans more for health care puts the most vulnerable populations at risk.  The proposed health care changes in this legislation are a step backward in providing access to quality care for all. There is truly nothing to like about this bill.” 

In addition to charging older Americans more, and drastically cutting Medicaid funding, the bill would create high risk pools which have been shown to be costly, underfunded and ineffective due to diminished coverage. In addition, this legislation would gut essential health benefits by allowing states to self-select what qualifies as a benefit. The current essential benefits are intended to keep the population healthy through preventive services and access to quality health care and without them Americans may face ill health effects and additional out of pocket costs.

This bill does not just repeal key provisions of the ACA, it sends a message to women and men with, and at risk of, breast cancer that our lives are not important. 

NBCC urges advocates to contact their Senators and voice your strong opposition to H.R.1628, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. Now, more than ever, we need to make our voices heard.