NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif., May 8, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) expressed its deep concerns with the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which narrowly passed the U.S. House of Representatives today. Multiple myeloma is the second most common blood cancer. Despite the advances in treating this disease, many challenges persist, including access to health insurance, timely treatment, and the ability to receive proper care, which is vital to survivorship. Robin Roland Levy, IMF's Senior Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, released the following statement regarding the bill's passage:
"The IMF understands the AHCA was designed with the intention of giving states more flexibility and lowering costs for all, but we have deep concerns about how the AHCA will affect the most vulnerable members of our society. Specifically, we have concerns about how certain provisions within the bill will affect individuals with preexisting conditions and those who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion."
"We do not believe high-risk pools are a viable long-term solution for people with preexisting conditions. Over the years, high-risk pools have proven to be unsuccessful. Individuals living in states implementing these policies have found their life-saving treatments become prohibitively expensive because they cannot receive healthcare coverage."
"Multiple myeloma patients need access to quality healthcare, without facing the barriers that could stem from this well intentioned, but misguided legislation. Patients fighting myeloma and all forms of cancer need timely access to the best care possible in order to improve their chances of surviving their disease and this legislation could prevent their access to care."
"While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has faced its own hurdles, our organization represents countless individuals who have greatly benefited from the ACA. The IMF remains committed to working with legislators on both sides of the aisle to find solutions that will truly help cancer patients and the most vulnerable in our society."
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL MYELOMA FOUNDATION Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) is the oldest and largest foundation focusing specifically on multiple myeloma. The Foundation's reach extends to more than 400,000 members in 140 countries worldwide. The IMF is dedicated to improving the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure by focusing on four key areas: research, education, support, and advocacy. The IMF has conducted more than 250 educational seminars worldwide, maintains a world-renowned InfoLine, and in 2001, established the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG), a collaborative research initiative focused on improving myeloma treatment options for patients. In 2012, the IMF launched the Black Swan Research Initiative®, a groundbreaking research project aimed at curing myeloma. The IMF can be reached at (800) 452-CURE (2873). The global website is www.myeloma.org. Follow the IMF on Twitter @IMFmyeloma.