Another day in paradise…just think about it.
Cancer treatment is dependent upon access to that treatment.
The CDC reported in 2006 that 54.5 million Americans or 18.6% had been uninsured for at least part of the year.
Insuring America’s Health: Principles and Recommendations, states that “lack of health insurance causes roughly 18,000 unnecessary deaths every year in the United States.” The book, by Committee on the Consequences of Uninsurance, represents the sixth and last report in a series by the Institute of Medicine Committee on the consequences of uninsurance.
One demographic group most affected by inability to access health care is the uninsured young adult.
“There are approximately 70,000 people aged 15-39 diagnosed with cancer every year. For over two decades there has been little or no improvement in survival for this age group. ” The SeventyK Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Bill of Rights, address this serious issue.
The Young Adult Alliance shares this information:
- Cancer is the leading disease killer among 20 to 39 year olds
- Young adults with cancer have had less survival improvement than either younger or older patients
- Strides made in cancer treatment have bypassed young adults
- Young adults also have the lowest participation rate in clinical trials of any age group
- Young adults face unique psychosocial concerns such as fertility, body image, sexuality, cognitive function, long-term effects, education, insurance and employment.
Thanks to organizations such as SeventyK, Vital Options and LiveStrong’s Young Adult Alliance, the needs of this age group are beginning to be addressed. Check out the link for resources and options for assistance.
Options for care for any uninsured American and those diagnosed with cancer:
The National Cancer Institute offers options for assistance and insurance.
Insure Kids Now, a government program that in most states offers insurance for uninsured children 18 years and younger whose families earn up t $34,100 a year (for a family of four qualify.
The American Cancer Institute site helps patients wade through insurance questions and covers issues such as COBRA, The American’s with Disabilities Act and the The Family and Medical Leave Act, and how these can benefit you.
What Can You Do?
Be a voice for change.
The Susan G. Komen: For the Cure highlights this 2007 Wall Street Journal article as it encourages grassroots activism to change state legislation to work for cancer patients not against them, because every woman deserves access to quality breast cancer treatment.
Support the Breast Cancer Protection Act,introduced by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro.
The Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act would:
Guarantee a minimum hospital stay of 48 hours for a woman having a mastectomy or lumpectomy, and 24 hours for a woman undergoing a lymph node removal;
Require health plans to include notice of these benefits in their monthly mailing and yearly information packet sent to plan participants;
Require plans to provide full coverage of second opinions should the patient seek one.
Visit the Colorectal Cancer Coalition Site. The C:3 “mission is to win the fight against colorectal cancer through research, empowerment and access.” The organization is lobbying for the passage of HR 1738. “The Colorectal Cancer Prevention, Early Detection, and Treatment Act of 2007 (HR 1738) would establish a screening and treatment program administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and would authorize funding for grants to the states. The grants would be used to conduct programs to provide vital colon cancer screenings, information and follow-up services to those ages 50-64, with a focus on those most at risk, such as low-income, uninsured and underinsured men and women. ”
The uninsured crisis is very real.
Don’t let another day go by that you don’t think about it.
And don’t forget–comment on any blog post through Friday May 9th, for a chance to win a free pound of Bald Lady coffee. Proceeds from Bald Lady coffee assist patients needing treatment.