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Letter: Increase Medicaid access toward cancer patients

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Beth Hardesty


Received: Feb. 18

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) strongly encourages Indiana to take full advantage of the federal funds available to provide thousands of families managing a chronic disease like cancer with lifesaving health coverage through the Medicaid program.

The federal government will pay 100 percent of the cost of expanding access to Medicaid coverage in the first three years and no less than 90 percent of the cost beginning in 2020. Increasing access to Medicaid coverage could save the state millions of taxpayer dollars that are currently used to treat uninsured people in emergency rooms. These savings can only be realized if Gov. Mike Pence and the Legislature accept the federal dollars available for this purpose.

We have the opportunity to cover approximately 400,000 low-income Hoosiers, providing them the security of quality health coverage so they can see a doctor regularly and get lifesaving cancer screenings and treatment when they need it, without facing huge medical bills.

We can also significantly reduce the number of uninsured with incomes at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level ($30,657 for a family of four) who know they are one diagnosis away from financial ruin.

Increased coverage will help to improve public health and reduce the cancer burden in Indiana. ACS CAN urges policymakers in Indiana to accept the money to cover more people and save taxpayer dollars by fully expanding access to Medicaid coverage.

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