cancer survivorship;Affordable Care Act;Medicaid;uninsured;access to care;insurance mandate;European Union;preventive services;social welfare;chronic illness management
The United States and the European Union (EU) vary widely in approaches to ensuring affordable health care coverage for our respective populations. Such variations stem from differences in the political systems and beliefs regarding social welfare. These variations are also reflected in past and future initiatives to provide high quality cancer survivorship care. The United States spends considerably more on health care compared to most European countries, often with no proven benefit. In the United States, individuals with chronic illnesses, such as cancer survivors, often experience difficulties affording insurance and maintaining coverage, a problem unknown to EU countries with national health insurance. This article reviews health policy development over time for the United States and EU and the impact for cancer survivors. For the United States, the impact of the Affordable Care Act on improving access to affordable care for cancer survivors is highlighted. For the EU, the importance of multiple-morbidity disease management, cancer plan development, and pan-European data collection for monitoring cancer outcomes is addressed. Given predicted workforce shortages and ever-increasing numbers of aging cancer survivors on both sides of the Atlantic, sharing lessons learned will be critical.