Poor Insurance Coverage Blamed for Cancer Deaths
Poor Insurance Coverage Blamed for Cancer Deaths
ACS Cancer Action Network Calls for Action
© Patrice Campbell

Jan 14, 2009

People with inadequate health insurance coverage are more likely to die of cancer according to a report from the American Cancer Society.

46 million Americans are uninsured, and 25 million more have health insurance that will not prove to be adequate if they receive a cancer diagnosis. Many insurers do not promote wellness and health, but only pay once the patient becomes ill, making cancer prevention and early detection a financial burden.

Inadequate access to timely, quality health care is one of the greatest barriers to winning the war on cancer, according to the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)

“Millions of cancer patients know first-hand the dire state of our country’s health care system, as they regularly fall through the numerous gaps that exist. If we can fix the system for cancer patients, there is a good chance it will function for anyone who needs to access health care in the United States”, stated Daniel E. Smith, President of ACS CAN.

Because the uninsured are unlikely to get cancer screening tests, when the cancer is diagnosed, usually it is already in the later stages, meaning a lower survival rate. Although increasingly favorable outcomes in the battle fighting cancer are achieved with early detection and treatment, high deductibles, limits on services and co-payments for health insurance serve as barriers to early preventative treatment.

Committed to making lawmaker responsible for their promises and their actions, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network is a grassroots movement advocating the promotion of cancer issues as a national priority.

ACS CAN is asking Americans to bring their voices to the halls of government supporting the following key issues:

Increase Government spending on cancer research
Access to cancer screening
Inproving pain and palliative care
The three most visible cancer research programs are at the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

565,000 people die from cancer in the United States each year, making cancer accountable for one in four deaths even though it’s become an increasingly curable and preventable disease. The key is to detect it early and have accessible care.

Congress and the President determine research funding. Over the past 5 years, federal funding for the following cancer screening and treatment programs has been cut:

Breast Cancer
Colon Cancer
Blood Cancer
Prostate Cancer Awareness
Skin Cancer Prevention
Ovarian Cancer Prevention
The ACS CAN website features a newspaper mockup stating: “2009: The Year Cancer Became a National Priority”, in it’s call for Americans to put a face on cancer and bring their concerns to government. The organization claims that "If one person can battle cancer, a nation can defeat it".

The copyright of the article Poor Insurance Coverage Blamed for Cancer Deaths in Activism is owned by Patrice Campbell. Permission to republish Poor Insurance Coverage Blamed for Cancer Deaths in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.

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