I am honored to be the new Executive Director of Disability Rights Legal Center (DRLC), a national cross-disability civil rights organization whose mission is to champion the rights of people with disabilities through education, advocacy, and litigation. DRLC encompasses a wide range of practice areas serving people with all types of disabilities, including people affected by cancer and HIV/AIDS.
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Reducing Cancer Survivorship Disparities
Evidence shows being uninsured or underinsured increases risk of an early death in select illnesses and populations. Confirmed in the recent published U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Healthcare Quality Report 2011, urgent attention is warranted to ensure progress of reducing disparities with respect to minority and low-income groups regarding cancer screening and access to care. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reaffirmed this notion in the 2011 National Healthcare Disparities Report stating “The death rate from a disease is a function of many factors, including the causes of the disease; social forces; and the effectiveness of the health care system in providing prevention, treatment, and management of the disease.”
Once national health care reform is enacted, at risk populations, including undocumented individuals and those whose income falls between 133-400% of the federal poverty level, will be severely impacted by the legislation. Undocumented individuals will continue to be ineligible for full-scope Medicaid and will be unable to purchase insurance in the health insurance exchange (healthcarereform.procon.org). Additionally, due to significant decreases in government funding, Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospitals will receive less compensation when providing emergency services to undocumented immigrants, resulting in cuts to necessary funding and care to the uninsured. Furthermore, low-income individuals will likely be ineligible for federal tax credits or subsidies and will face difficulty when obtaining insurance in the exchange; thus forcing them to pay a market price for private health insurance. By examining these issues and providing education to the underserved, we create a discussion to invoke policy change for those without coverage.
Since its founding in 1997, DRLC's Cancer Legal Resource Center (CLRC) remains unique, providing invaluable cancer-related legal information and resources to people nationwide. The success of the Center's work is reflected in the enormous need for the information it provides. Throughout its 15-year history, the CLRC has served over 404,000 people through the Telephone Assistance Line, conferences, seminars, workshops, education and outreach programs, and other cancer community activities. For more information about the Cancer Legal Resource Center, please click here.
To contact the CLRC, please call (866) THE-CLRC.
If you would like CLRC to participate in your next event or you would like us to send you materials, please click here.