By: Eric Gascho, Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) commissioned a poll of Americans across the country to gather information about voter attitudes around health insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. The results concluded that, “nearly 7 in 10 say people should not be charged more (for health insurance) based on health status.”
The report states that 68 percent of voters “across party affiliations say people with pre-existing health conditions should have access to health coverage without paying more because of their health status and 80 percent agree that simply having health insurance isn’t enough; plans must cover necessary treatments when people have a medical condition and need care the most.”
The new nationwide poll “conducted just before and during the midterm elections, also found 82 percent ‘disagree’ that insurance companies should be able to charge higher prices to sicker customers. Ninety percent said they would be ‘concerned,’ and 78 percent say they would be ‘very concerned’ if care for pre-existing conditions was no longer required to be covered.”
Additionally, “more than half of those surveyed said they or an immediate family member have a pre-existing medical condition.”
At the National Health Council (NHC), we provide a united voice for the more than 160 million people with chronic diseases and disabilities and their family caregivers.
The survey results underscore just how important access to affordable, sustainable, high-value health care, regardless of one’s health status, is to Americans across the country. With the potential threat of the courts invalidating pre-existing conditions protections, voters overwhelmingly want Congress to come together to pass legislation that will benefit people with pre-existing conditions. Further, those polled agree that simply allowing people to purchase insurance is not enough. They must also pay the same premiums as healthy people, and insurance companies must cover the medicines and services they need to live healthier lives.
Our work in reducing health care costs and putting patients first in health care reform helps lessen the burden for those with chronic diseases and disabilities and their family caregivers. Strengthening health insurance markets is a top priority, so patients can continue to access quality and affordable coverage.
The NHC welcomes the opportunity to work with Congress and the administration to ensure current laws and regulations include patient protections for those with pre-existing conditions.