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More Deadly Than Smoking

Want to know what may be a bigger cancer killer than smoking? Being uninsured. That’s right. Here’s what the American Cancer Society’s chief executive, John Seffrin, had to say about being uninsured:

I believe, if we don’t fix the health care system, that lack of access will be a bigger cancer killer than tobacco. The ultimate control of cancer is as much a policy issue as it is a medical and scientific issue.

In an unprecedented move, the American Cancer Society is spending all of it’s 15 million dollar advertising budget on the problem of inadequate health coverage. Go here to read about it. This decision was based on research which showed that uninsured patients with cancers of the breast, larynx, and mouth had their cancers diagnosed at a much more advanced stage. Obviously, this leads to more expensive and less effective treatment. These patients not only die early, but frequently they die broke. One in four families afflicted by cancer spends most or all of their savings battling the disease. 560,000 Americans will die of cancer this year.

Listen, politicians can dither all they want to on health care. But any politician who doesn’t make universal health coverage part of their plan needs to be reminded that they are sacrificing American lives in the process. And this wouldn’t be the Progressive Pulse if I didn’t remind readers that none of the Republican candidates for president have a plan for significantly reducing the number of uninsured Americans. How’s that for family values.

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