by Doug Ulman
LIVESTRONG is an advocate for comprehensive health services for all Americans, serving as an honest broker of the health care reform conversation, offering solid, evidence-based analysis and speaking with the collective voice of cancer survivors.
Comprehensive health care reform is overdue in America. Millions of Americans lack formal care. Too many minority and economically disadvantaged Americans suffer and die in far greater proportion than their fellow citizens. And the economic burden our nation bears as a result of a broken system is unsustainable.
The challenges faced by most Americans in health care are clearly reflected in how cancer patients and survivors are served by our system. In cancer, prevention, screening, early detection and access to continuing care are essential. The same is true for maintaining and preserving Americans? general health. From lifestyle habits to well-known prevention measures to a diagnosis and subsequent treatment, cancer care is a model of the success, excess and major gaps in U.S. health care.
While LIVESTRONG does not endorse any specific reform plan, we stand firmly in favor of comprehensive reform that embraces the following fundamental principles:
- Guaranteed Security and Continuity: All Americans must be able to rely on the continuation of their coverage, regardless of changes in health, family or profession.
- Delivery of Proven Care: Services known to prevent cancer and other diseases and preserve general health must be part of standard coverage.
- Equality: Americans must not be denied coverage for pre-existing health conditions and should have choices appropriate to their own health needs.
- Medical Excellence: Reform must include a continuing effort to promote best medical practices, put the patient first and deliver modern, innovative care.