ASCO Urges Senate to Avoid Medicare Cuts That Would be Triggered by Proposed Tax Bill

Statement by ASCO President Bruce E. Johnson, MD, FASCO
December 1, 2017

"We are deeply concerned about the sequestration cuts that would be triggered by passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The core mission of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is to ensure that cancer patients have meaningful access to high-quality cancer care. We fear that the current proposal will harm patients with cancer by reducing access to care, a situation that could adversely impact treatment needed to extend and save patients' lives.

"If the deficit is increased, existing law requires automatic cuts to mandatory programs. The tax reform legislation under consideration will almost certainly trigger cuts to Medicare, projected to be a $25 billion reduction in 2018. Sixty percent of cancer patients are Medicare beneficiaries. A cut of this magnitude will cause increased instability in an already fragile cancer care delivery system and threaten access for patients with cancer. 

"ASCO urges the Senate to ensure that mandatory cuts to Medicare or other programs critical to cancer care and research do not result from any legislation before its passage to avoid unintended significant harm to individuals with cancer who need high-quality care." 

Read ASCO's letter to Senate leadership.