Will Obamacare Deny Cancer Care for Seniors Over Age 75?

senior man at laptop
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Question: I heard because of Obamacare seniors over 76 would not get coverage for cancer treatment. Is this true?

A reader, Pete, posted this question to the Patient Empowerment site in 2014. These scary claims often resurface in viral social media posts and urban legend emails. Obamacare urban legends are bound to circulate in upcoming years. Let's address this one now and you can note it for future reference.

Here's Your Answer: Emphatically Not True

It gives me one more opportunity to cast aspersions on those who are telling TV viewers and email receivers that this is true as a way to make them hate Obamacare. They are lying to you when they say this, often because of their political party allegiance. Don't believe them. They are using their own political agendas to scare people into submission. Don't let them scare you!

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Does Not Ration Care for Seniors or for People Cancer of Any Age

The real fact is that Obamacare says nothing at all about the rationing of care to anyone - not for cancer, not for Seniors, not for any treatment you need whatsoever. Further - the bill that's cited as the source for Senior care rationing (cancer, or any other kind) never even became law! That bill was HR 3200. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was, in fact, HR 3590.

But even then, there was no such provision in either bill.

It seems that this assertion came from another scam email, based on comments a judge supposedly made to a local newspaper. But as it turns out, that judge claims he never said any of that anyway.

Don't believe me? If you are of a political persuasion that mistrusts Obamacare you probably want further confirmation.

Here are more references.

•  From Snopes: Judge Dread (Kithil)

•  From Politifact: Will seniors be denied cancer treatment under Obamacare?

•  From FactCheck: Twenty-six Lies About H.R. 3200

•  From Forbes: Will Obamacare Really Prohibit Active Medical Intervention At Age 70

Check Any Scary Claims About Obamacare Before You Pass Them Around

You need to review these kinds of claims to determine their veracity. There are many ways to do so. There are websites like FactCheck and Politifact that give you all the evidence you need to decide for yourself. Here are those resources, and how to use them.

The Affordable Care Act will be a political hot potato for many years to come. It will be modified in many ways if one party or the other gets enough power. You need to stay on top of the news about it, but you also must not fall prey to urban legends and scaremongering. It would be great if we had Death Panels to end these rumors, but the person who must kill them by not spreading them is you.

Remember, just because you see something on TV, on the web, or in your email, doesn't mean it's true! Be a smart patient, and a smart citizen by checking them out before you believe them, especially if you plan to send them on to someone else.

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