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Lance, Pascrell: Don't Cut Cancer Patients' Access to Care

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Reps. Leonard Lance (NJ-07) and Bill Pascrell (NJ-09) today announced a bipartisan effort to protect seniors from steep cuts in Medicare cancer treatments.

In a letter signed by 88 of their colleagues, the Garden State members of Congress urged House leaders to reject additional cuts to Medicare Part B drug reimbursements.

"The United States has the best cancer care delivery system in the world and in Washington we must work in a bipartisan fashion to protect that quality of care," said Lance, a member of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health. "I am proud to join my friend and colleague Congressman Bill Pascrell and other like-minded members in opposition to deep cuts in Medicare Part B drug reimbursements."

"The last place we should be considering budget cuts is in treatment for the sickest among us," said Pascrell, a member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health. "Cancer clinics and oncologists are already facing difficult financial challenges as the demand for cancer care continues. Proposed cuts to Medicare Part B will only put these critically ill patients at greater risk. I will continue to work with Congressman Lance in a bipartisan manner to ensure that cancer patients across the nation can continue to have access to lifesaving medical treatments."

In the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, Congress reformed reimbursements for Part B drugs and biologics. The legislation moved the structure to a market-based average sales price (ASP) methodology based on the actual prices paid by physicians. This reform dramatically reduced Medicare reimbursements for these life-saving therapies and also significantly lowered the spending growth rate in this area. Recent financial pressures have resulted in the closure of hundreds of cancer clinics further limiting access to care. The end result has been less options for patients and higher Medicare program costs as patients seek care in costlier settings.

Together the 90 signatures from members of both political parties call for solutions that maintain top cancer care in the United States and avoid cuts that will cause significant disruption in access.

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