American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

IA: Take action to protect access to health care coverage


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Dear [Decision Maker],

As your constituent, and someone who advocates for cancer patients and survivors, I'm writing today to ask that you vote 'no' on Senate File 434 and Senate Study Bill 1134, bills that would impose work and community engagement requirements as a condition of eligibility for "qualified" able-bodied adults enrolled in the state's expanded Medicaid program.

More than 17,810 Iowans are going to hear the words, "you have cancer" in 2019 alone and many of them are receiving their health care coverage through Iowa's Medicaid program. Individuals with lower socio-economic status (income, education and insurance status) have higher cancer incidence and higher death rates. The coverage, benefits and services provided through Iowa's expanded Medicaid program has helped improve access and utilization of preventive care, led to increased early detection of cancers, and resulted in better health outcomes and survival rates for patients and survivors.

Meeting the program reporting requirements associated with seeking or maintaining work could be overly challenging for cancer patients, survivors, and others with chronic diseases because of ongoing symptom management. Those experiencing symptoms like nausea, fatigue or numbness in extremities, find it challenging to complete even the most basic daily tasks, let alone performing the weekly or monthly employment, community or public services requirements included in these bills.

This proposal would deny low-income Iowans access to Medicaid - a critical safety-net in the fight against cancer. I ask you to take a strong stance against policy proposals that would tie access to affordable health care for low-income persons to work or community engagement requirements because cancer patients, survivors, and those who will be diagnosed with the disease - as well as those with other complex chronic conditions - could be seriously disadvantaged by such policies and find themselves ineligible for any affordable health care coverage.

Please vote no on SF 434 and SSB 1134. Thank you for your time and consideration.

I look forward to your response.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]