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20.5.13

Should Americans with Cancer Go Bankrupt?

In the republican primaries in 2012 there was a moment when the crowd watching cheered at the idea of simply letting folks without insurance die of cancer. As much as this was disturbing to most Americans and much of the world it is not the only issue related to cancer patients in America.

The financial toll a cancer diagnosis can bring, will increase the chance of the patient filing bankruptcy. A new study published in Health Affairs states that a patient with cancer diagnosis is 2.65 times more likely than people without cancer to file for bankruptcy.

This begs the question "should Americans go bankrupt because they have a catastrophic illness?" In a nation as rich as ours and with the quality of our medical experts, why should this be the case?

First off we may have the some of the best and brightest minds in the medical world here in America. This issue is access to this care can be very expensive. One reason for this is the sometimes insane cost of cancer drugs. Many of these drugs could really help save lives but many with or without health insurance simply can not afford them.

Another reason is to not being able to work due to treatment. This causes lost wages for the patients a lot of the time. Also, this affects not just the patients income but can affect the income for others in the family as well.

Letting our fellow Americans go bankrupt due to a cancer diagnosis just seems UN-American to many. These people having to file bankruptcy not only affects the patients but the entire economy. This should not be allowed to stand in our land of plenty.

One solution could be a less than 1% national sales tax that could go into an account that no politicians can touch. This money could be used to at least offset the cost of life saving cancer drugs for those with or without healthcare insurance. Also, the fund could be used to help those who need it with some monetary help for basics electric bills and mortgage payments.

We as Americans should be appalled at the numbers of cancer patients that must file bankruptcy.It simply does not have to be this way. We are Americans and when Americans work together we can solve or overcome anything.

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