Effects of Affordable Care Act Marketplaces and Medicaid Eligibility Expansion on Access to Cancer Care

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study was to inform oncologists about how repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may affect their ability to provide cancer therapies for people with cancer enrolled in ACA health plans and why proposals to change Medicaid funding may make it even more difficult for Medicaid beneficiaries to access cancer treatments.

Methods

We examined the regulations and provisions of the ACA related to how health insurance impacts access to diagnostic testing and treatments for people with cancer, including access to clinical trials. Similarly, we examined federal and state rules affecting Medicaid beneficiaries’ access to cancer treatments.

Results

Repealing various provisions of the ACA will restrict who has access to both current and new cancer treatments. Such changes also will impact oncology research that depends on having heterogeneous people in clinical trials.

Conclusions

Significant changes to the ACA will affect oncology treatment choices of everyone with health insurance—not only the 10 million people newly covered by ACA health plans and the 70 million people with Medicaid coverage.

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