With Life-Saving Health Reforms Now in Place for Cancer Survivors, I Remember Elizabeth

Today, while cancer survivors like me are cheering, I am remembering a particular survivor – no longer with us – who must be looking down with great joy for her fellow survivors and in knowing hers was a job well done. Were she with us, attorney and health care reform advocate Elizabeth Edwards would be elated. Before she had cancer, she worked in front of and behind the scenes to carry our country to the historic event of this day.

The landmark ruling handed down this morning by the U.S. Supreme Court gives cancer survivors protection from insurance discrimination for pre-existing conditions. Life-saving preventive services, like breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings, will be covered with no co-pays or deductibles. Parents of pediatric and young adult cancer survivors will be able to cover those cancer patients on parental insurance until the young cancer survivors reach age 26.

Specifically, The Affordable Care Act’s provisions that are vital to cancer survivors and their families, include:

  • covering preventive services like breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening with no co-pays and no deductibles
  • covering the routine costs for participation in clinical trials
  • providing insurance for those with preexisting conditions, including those diagnosed with cancer
  • ending arbitrary annual and lifetime caps on health insurance benefits
  • covering young adults under their parents’ insurance policy until their 26th birthday

Cancer survivorship no longer has to mean financial ruin for those hanging on by a thread; they can release a sigh of relief, they can climb back aboard a train moving forward. You may not agree with my perspective…the perspective of a cancer survivor. You may not agree with the law of the land. I admit, it still has flaws that I believe need attention and fine-tuning. You may not share my admiration for Elizabeth Edwards.

It is undisputable; however, that a cancer survivor named “Elizabeth” rang the bell for millions, effective today. And for that, she should be remembered by cancer survivors with kindness and gratitude.

Category: Cancer

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