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A cancer patient's dilemma: saving a life or a life's savings

Dear Editor,

As a survivor, I know how important it is to have health insurance that covers the treatments and prescriptions I needed. Cancer patients across the country—including those with insurance—often must dig deep into their savings and risk financial ruin to pay for cancer treatment and care. No one should ever have to make the choice between saving their life or their life savings.

A new poll from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, shows that more than 40 percent of people with cancer or a history of cancer in this country say they have had trouble paying for health care costs. More than one in four is delaying necessary treatments that they just can't afford, and one in seven is carrying major medical debt. The broken health care system leaves too many patients unable to afford quality care that may save their lives.

Even one person putting off necessary screenings or cancer care is one too many – one in four having to face that choice is unacceptable.  Health care reform must focus on preventing disease and include quality coverage for all Americans.

I know that if we can fix the health care system for cancer patients, we will fix it for virtually everyone else. We need to demand action now, not later, on comprehensive health care reform in this country. Cancer patients can't afford to wait.

Deb Baresic
Fort Wayne, IN

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Comments

Deb, I couldn't agree more. We will be signing up new members for ACS CAN at Relay For Life June 6-7 at Indian Springs Middle School. It would nice to see you and all like minded folks out for the event.

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