AOSW supports health care as a human right as outlined in the World Health Organization (WHO) Constitution and supports public policies that ensure people facing cancer can access high-quality, affordable, and timely health care.
AOSW supports public policies that recognize the social determinants of health and policies that ensure all people have access to decent housing, nutritious food, safe public spaces, reliable transportation, and education.
AOSW supports public policies that recognize and dismantle systemic racial injustices that cause persistent health disparities.
AOSW believes health policies should promote:
- Access: All individuals should have access to high-quality health care across the cancer care continuum from prevention and early detection to survivorship and end-of-life care.
- Affordability: High-quality health care should be affordable (including premiums and cost sharing) for all individuals regardless of income.
- Clinical Trials Access: Barriers to clinical trial access should be eliminated to ensure diverse participation, including among underrepresented populations.
- Consumer Protections: Insurance companies should not be able to place lifetime limits on coverage, unfairly rescind coverage, drastically raise premiums without justification, or discriminate based on pre-existing conditions or genetic information.
- Continuous Coverage: Health insurance coverage should be available without interruption regardless of employment status, income, age, developmental stage, or location of residence.
- Eliminating Disparities: Health programs should collect and report racial, ethnic, and language data to help understand persistent health disparities, and policymakers should identify funding for marginalized populations.
- Flexibility and Innovation: Common barriers to cancer care should be reduced through innovative options for transportation, telehealth, in-home services, and social work navigation using a person-in-environment perspective.
- Mental Health Parity: There should be parity between health and mental/behavioral health benefits, and all individuals should have access to trained and licensed mental health care providers who deliver affordable care.
- Mitigation of Financial Toxicity: Affordable health care should be paired with policies providing employment protections for people with cancer and other disabilities, income replacement during disability, and support for family caregiving.
- Non-discrimination: Individuals should not experience discrimination in health care or insurance coverage based on health status, gender, ability level, age, language, education level, race or ethnicity, country of origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic.
- Person-centered care: Cancer care should attend to patients’ psychosocial concerns, honor their dignity and identity, support family caregivers, and engage patients for shared decision making to ensure treatments are aligned with their individual needs and values.
- Prevention: All individuals should have access to preventive care such as well services, screenings, nutritious foods, and opportunities to engage in an active lifestyle.