Leading Disease Groups: ACA Intended to Apply Tax Credits in Federal and State Marketplaces

Brief Filed in Halbig Rehearing by American Cancer Society, ACS CAN, American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association

October 30, 2014 Categories: Advocacy News

WASHINGTON – October 30, 2014 – In a friend-of-the-court brief filed today with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in the case of Halbig v. Burwell, leading groups fighting chronic disease argue that Congress intended for eligible consumers to receive tax credits that help make health coverage bought in either federal or state-run marketplaces more affordable.

The American Cancer Society, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association assert in their brief that Congress clearly intended to make premium tax credits available on both federal and state-run marketplaces. The brief also documents the potentially grave consequences if tax credits were suddenly taken away from millions of people nationwide.

Following is a statement from the organizations:

“If premium tax credits were suddenly limited to state-run marketplaces, 4.6 million people in 34 states who currently benefit from the tax credits and potentially 12.5 million eligible people nationwide would become immediately ineligible for the financial help that can make health coverage possible for them and their families.

“The evidence is clear that the uninsured are more likely to die or suffer serious complications from conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke than are people with health insurance. The tragic consequences of being uninsured with a serious chronic disease can include needless loss of life, more expensive care, a greater risk of personal bankruptcy and higher health care costs for everyone. For example, scientific studies have shown that:

  • Uninsured patients are 1.4 times more likely to be diagnosed with advanced-stage cervical cancer and more than four times more likely to be diagnosed with advanced-stage breast cancer than those with insurance.
  • Uninsured patients with stage IV colorectal cancer are almost four times as likely to receive no cancer treatment as patients with private insurance.
  • Uninsured patients with cardiovascular disease experience higher mortality rates and poorer blood pressure control than the insured.
  • Uninsured people who suffer an ischemic stroke have greater neurological impairments, longer hospital stays, and up to a 56 percent higher risk of death than the insured.
  • Patients with no health insurance are twice as likely to have a diabetic complication as patients with health insurance.

“The legislative debate over the Affordable Care Act repeatedly made it clear that Congress was responding to known failures of the health insurance system that left millions of people – especially those affected by serious chronic conditions – unable to afford health coverage, likely to face overwhelming health care costs and susceptible to poor health outcomes. Congress sought to correct these failures by significantly improving access to quality, affordable health coverage. The law will not accomplish what Congress intended unless premium tax credits and other forms of financial assistance are available to eligible Americans nationwide.”

“On behalf of the millions of people nationwide with serious chronic diseases, we urge the Court of Appeals to affirm the District Court’s decision and rule that people who meet necessary income eligibility requirements can receive tax credits to make coverage more affordable in either a federal or state-run marketplace.”

View the full amicus brief here.

 

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The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; by helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

 

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem.  ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.acscan.org.

 

The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes® and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

 

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit www.heart.org or call any of our offices around the country.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

For media inquiries, please contact Retha Sherrod at (202) 785-7929 or retha.sherrod@heart.org.