According to the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC), all of the debate about health care reform boils down to one key issue for breast cancer patients: affordable, quality health care for all. “Women should not have to worry about cancer and about how to pay for their life-saving treatment,” says Fran Visno, NBCC president.
While “affordable, quality care for all” is a visionary goal, Visco says NBCC is advocating for several specific points to be addressed in reform:
- Removal of pre-existing conditions so that women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer will be able to purchase insurance at a reasonable price.
- A move toward an evidence-based health care system so women can receive the care they need when they need it, and don’t get unnecessary or harmful care.
- Shared responsibility so everyone contributes according to his or her ability to pay and everyone has affordable health care.
Equal access to quality care has long been an issue for NBCC as well as numerous other breast cancer advocacy organizations. In June, Visco testified before the House Education and Labor Committee on a draft proposal for health care reform, and took the opportunity to explain why NBCC is so committed to change.
She said, “Our long standing commitment to health care reform is driven by the experiences and stories of the millions of women who have not only received the devastating diagnosis of breast cancer but have also had to suffer the injustices of our current health insurance system.”
It remains to be seen whether current advocacy efforts will make a difference, but Visco says NBCC is redoubling its efforts and is hopeful that results are on the horizon. “Health care reform can happen this year.”
Source: Breast Cancer, USA Today Supplement, Oct. 2009, p. 5