After failing to secure the needed votes for the American Health Care Act, House Republicans withdrew the bill from consideration and have decided not to pursue further health care legislation at this time.
In the end, the changes this bill would have made to the Affordable Care Act by eliminating the Prevention and Public Health Fund would have been devastating to cancer prevention, screening, early detection and treatment. Authorized by the Affordable Care Act, the Prevention and Public Health fund is a grant program for community health organizations providing health education and preventive health services to underserved communities. This is a smart use of funding and must be included and fully funded in any new bill.
The bill also would have put an end to essential health benefits, which includes vaccines, cancer screenings such as mammograms and colonoscopies, and many other vital health care benefits such as maternity, emergency and pediatric care.
While it would have been harder for millions of individuals to purchase insurance, many more millions were at risk of losing theirs. The bill put forward substantial changes to Medicaid and folks at the greatest risk of losing their coverage are the ones who need it the most; lower income individuals and Americans aged 50 or older—those most in need of regular screenings.
Prevention saves money in the long run—and saves lives. We will continue to do everything we can to make it easier for people to access cancer screening and coverage for preventive services, which is essential to millions of Americans.
We will continue to keep you updated on any new legislation that is put forward. In the meantime, we are grateful to Congress for listening and to those of you who answered our call to contact your members of Congress and asked them to protect prevention.