Latest Health Care Proposal Will Harm Patients with Pulmonary Fibrosis
Although a vote has been delayed, the Senate Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the latest plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, remains a threat to the pulmonary fibrosis community. This bill, or a similar version of it, will likely be considered again when the Senate returns to session on Monday, July 10.
The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, along with the American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, American Thoracic Society, American Lung Association, American Association for Retired Persons, and many other patient advocacy organizations have significant concerns about this legislation.
Several risks and potentially devastating issues for patients, family members, and members of the pulmonary fibrosis community have been identified:
Decreased support for, and access to, oxygen
Decreased access to novel therapies for PF
Increased costs for Americans age 50-64
Reduced benefits limiting access to comprehensive care and treatment
Significant reduction in Medicaid funding, leading to loss of, limited access to, or prohibitive costs of health care coverage for millions of Americans
The BCRA will affect patients with both common and rare diseases, including pulmonary fibrosis.
The Congressional Budget Office projected that 22 million fewer people would have coverage under the bill in 2026, compared with the current law.
By 2026, an estimated 49 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million under current law.
Up to 15 million people could lose coverage as soon as next year.
Average premiums for single individuals would rise by 20 percent and 10 percent in 2018 and 2019, respectively. By 2026, average premiums in most of the country would drop about 20 percent.
Now is the time to contact your senators by phone, email, and/or through social media. Please see the sample letter below for your consideration. Addresses and phone numbers of all members of the Senate can be found here.
Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) patients and their families depend on the patient protections that the Senate is considering eliminating by passing the BCRA.
Our community has identified the following specific risks in the proposed legislation:
- Decreased support for, and access to, oxygen
- Decreased access to novel therapies for PF
- Increased costs for Americans age 50-64
- Reduced benefits limiting access to comprehensive care and treatment
- Significant reduction in Medicaid funding, leading to loss of, limited access to, or prohibitive costs of health care coverage for millions of Americans
The BCRA brings back annual and lifetime caps, limitless out-of-pocket costs and inadequate coverage by rolling back essential health benefits.
This legislation would be devastating for individuals with pulmonary fibrosis.
I am asking you to oppose the BCRA.
Thank you for your time and consideration.