Cancer Patients After The Mid-Term Elections

by Jane Ashley

How Will We Be Affected?

 Health Insurance

The mid-term elections are finally behind us. Regardless of which political party we supported, those of here on WhatNext.com share a common thread – either we have cancer or a loved one has cancer. That is the tie that binds the WhatNext family together.
Exit polls showed that 4 out of every 10 voters felt that healthcare was the #1 issue facing the United States. Seven out of 10 believed that our healthcare system needs to be reformed.

The Democrats now control the House of Representatives, and the Republications are 60 votes short to override a filibuster. An additional change in demographics is that the House will now have 100 women, a political first.

Although there is still a great political divide to be healed, there are a few promising things that we can expect.

Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA)

Health Care Bankruptcy

Most experts believe that there won’t be a concerted effort to destabilize the ACA in 2019. Rates vary greatly from state to state and by the level of plan selected. It is unlikely that there will any change in pre-existing conditions access. That is a HUGE relief to any cancer patient in active treatment or any cancer survivor.

The Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act may be revisited again in 2019. The goal would be to stabilize the individual healthcare markets. There is also bipartisan interest in controlling drug prices and to protect patients from balance billing from out-of-network providers.
There will still be “fights” on the floor about short-term plans and haggling over the possibility of states modifying key ACA provisions to provide lower cost policies.

However, in the long haul, consumers should have access to healthcare insurance through the Affordable Healthcare Act for the foreseeable future.

Medicaid

Because Medicaid is administered by each state, state elections were hotly contested too. In several states, voter initiatives and the outcome of the governor’s race make it likely that Medicaid will be expanded in those states. Voters in Nebraska, Idaho, and Utah voted to expand Medicaid. Maine, Kansas, Michigan, and Wisconsin are more likely now to expand Medicaid. 

How To Talk To The Insurance Company About Your Cancer Claims

However, other states’ residents may not be so fortunate. Ohio’s new governor vowed not to expand Medicaid as did Georgia’s new governor.
Federal Courts may also be involved.

Medicaid may also see the courts deciding about work requirements in several states, most notably Kentucky and Arkansas. The Supreme Court, with two new justices, may also readdress the ACA – some 20 state Republican governors and attorney generals have claimed that the Congress’s repeal of the individual mandate invalidates the entire Affordable Healthcare Act.

The Bottom Line …

For now, the Affordable Healthcare Act is safe for 2019 – people with pre-existing conditions can still get health insurance – good news for all of us with a history of cancer. With healthcare on the minds of so many Americans, healthcare is bound to get a lot of attention during the next two years leading up to the 2020 Presidential election.

WhatNexters may want to become more active regarding healthcare because our lives depend on a viable healthcare system with Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance being the three legs of the stool that provide access to healthcare when people need it most – when they or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer.

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