LUNGevity Foundation Releases Statement Regarding Ruling on ACA Preventive Care

Chicago, IL — (April 4, 2023) — Andrea Ferris, President and CEO of LUNGevity Foundation, issued the following statement regarding the judicial ruling on the Affordable Care Act’s preventive care services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force:

“LUNGevity Foundation expresses concern about the new judicial ruling reversing the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) mandated coverage of preventive care services, which include cancer screenings that have been critical to recent improvements in early detection and survival rates for millions of Americans.

“Since the passage of the ACA, the medical community and advocacy organizations have made major gains in the uptake of screenings and other preventive care measures recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). Early diagnosis in lung cancer is critical—a person diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) while it is still localized has a 65% chance of living 5 or more years, compared to a 9% chance if diagnosed late, or once the cancer has spread. Expanded access to cancer screenings has helped detect cancer earlier, when it is most treatable, giving patients better opportunities for positive health outcomes. For lung cancer specifically, we have a safe and effective screening using low-dose CT for people who are at high risk. The scan finds 80% of lung cancer at an early stage, when it is most curable, providing hope for Americans across the country dealing with a cancer diagnosis. “While the uptake for lung cancer screening has been slower than other cancer screenings like breast and colorectal, increasing cost barriers to access as a result of this ruling would be damaging at a time when our community has been working tirelessly to increase screening rates. Additionally, proven tobacco cessation services, which are currently covered with no cost-sharing under the ACA, are important to help people quit and reduce their risk for lung cancer and other diseases linked to tobacco use.

“This ruling could result in a major setback in healthcare outcomes, particularly among vulnerable populations who have poor access to healthcare services in the first place. Screenings and preventive services recommended by the USPSTF, including those mentioned above, save countless lives every day. Preventing disease or detecting it early when there are better treatment options can also reduce costs to our healthcare system.

“While we are hopeful that the Biden Administration will appeal the ruling and no disruption to care will occur, we are fearful of the potential impact on access to care if the ruling does go into effect. We urge policymakers to consider the detrimental impacts of this ruling on all Americans, and we are committed to collaborating with other leading healthcare organizations to ensure continued patient access to these vital services.”

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