As one of the leading patient advocacy groups that advocated for the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is celebrating the impact of the historic law ahead of its 14th anniversary on Saturday, March 23. ACS CAN is marking the milestone by urging Congress, state lawmakers and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to protect and strengthen the critical patient protections of the ACA.

“The anniversary of the Affordable Care Act marks a historic day in the fight against cancer. Since the ACA was signed into law 14 years ago, millions of Americans — many of whom are cancer patients and survivors or may one day be diagnosed with the disease — have gained a path to affordable, quality coverage through the ACA. In fact, record enrollment continues today with more than 21.3 million individuals enrolled in Marketplace plans in 2024 alone,” said Dr. Karen E. Knudsen, CEO of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “American Cancer Society research continues to show a connection between lack of access to meaningful health care and late-stage cancer diagnosis, underscoring the critical role health insurance coverage plays in survivorship. While the ACA has been lifesaving in providing accessible care to those who need it most by allowing 40 states to expand Medicaid, it’s critical we continue to implement, strengthen and preserve the ACA so that all families touched by cancer have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, detect, treat and survive cancer including by increasing Medicaid eligibility in the 10 remaining states that have refused to do so.”

The implementation of the ACA ushered in many provisions that have meaningfully improved the health care system for cancer patients, survivors and their families. ACS CAN continues to advocate for lawmakers and the courts to protect and strengthen these existing provisions including:

  • Urging the Fifth Circuit to preserve access to no-cost preventive care in the case of Braidwood v. Becerra

  • Urging Congress to make enhanced Marketplace subsidies permanent before they expire at the end of 2025

  • Urging state lawmakers to further expand access to affordable, quality health coverage by expanding access to Medicaid in the 10 states that have yet to do so. 

“Nearly 15 years later, access to affordable health care coverage continues to be at the core of health conversations from the doctor’s office to Capitol Hill, with affordability being the leading policy priority for cancer patients and survivors today,” said Lisa Lacasse, president of ACS CAN. “Record enrollment in Marketplace plans after the ACA was implemented was due in large part to the generosity of subsidies that made care affordable and today, even relatively low costs of $1 or $5 stop Americans from seeking preventive lifesaving screenings. Now more than ever, we need Congress and our nation’s courts to preserve the critical patient protections guaranteed by the ACA by maintaining access to cost-free preventive care and making enhanced Marketplace subsidies permanent before their expiration date at the end of the next year.”

This press release was originally published March 20, 2024, by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. It is republished with permission.