June 28, 2012
Statement from Andrew Spiegel, Chief Executive Officer, Colon Cancer Alliance, Regarding the United States Supreme Court Ruling on the Affordable Care Act
Today is a great day for the 1.2 million Americans who have colon cancer, those who may get this disease in the future or those seeking to avoid the disease through screening. The Colon Cancer Alliance’s vision is for a world free of colon cancer, where education, early detection and treatment lead to survivorship for all. With today’s United States Supreme Court decision, people suffering with chronic diseases such as colon cancer will continue to have access to quality, affordable health care.
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, all insurance companies will be required to provide free preventative care services including colonoscopies. This is a true benefit as colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. In many instances, this disease has no symptoms until it has already progressed to later stages. However, a colonoscopy beginning at age 50 for most individuals or sooner for those with risk factors such as family history, could help save thousands of lives every year. A screening can detect polyps, which can be removed before they have a chance to turn into cancer, or it can detect colon cancer in the early stages, when it has a greater chance of being cured.
The Supreme Court ruling means cancer patients will retain protection from insurance discrimination for pre-existing conditions. Parents of young colon cancer survivors will continue covering their children on their insurance until they are 26. Life-saving preventive services, including colorectal cancer screenings, will be covered with no co-pays or deductibles. The Affordable Care Act’s life-saving measures, so critical to cancer survival and their families, will be preserved and we are enormously relieved that justice has prevailed.
The Affordable Care Act contains several provisions critical to cancer survivors and their families. They include:
- Access to health insurance for 32 million Americans who would otherwise be uninsured
- Ending discrimination by insurers against those with preexisting conditions
- Ending arbitrary annual and lifetime caps on health insurance benefits
- Routine costs for clinical trials must be covered by insurance
- Covering young adults under their parents’ insurance policy until their 26th birthday
- Covering preventive services like breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening with no co-pays and no deductibles
Today’s ruling is a move in the right direction for making the Colon Cancer Alliance’s vision a reality.
Chief Executive Officer
Colon Cancer Alliance