LIVESTRONG and Health Care Reform


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.


  1. Nancy Bird says:

    Well said!
    Let’s hope they can get us pharmaceuticals at the rate they get it to others who are disadvantaged around the globe. Medicine is about life-and at some point those in the fields that revolve around medicine forgot that!

  2. Antonio O says:

    It is nice to see that there is a sense of urgency to drive politics aside and look out for the people. I agree that a system where people have the chance to be screened, treated and supported in the fight against cancer and every other illness is always a good thing.

    Keep up the outstanding work on the fight against cancer. We will eventually win.

  3. It is ALL about a MORAL choice. We Americans must care about our neighbors. There is NO equality in health care today and it is sad. If one is poor and doesn’t have insurance they r very unlikely to survive a treatable illness. This is America not a third world nation! The way health care discriminates is appalling! Go for LIVESTRONG for standing for what they believe in!

  4. Thanks for supporting Health Care for all. It is extremely overdue. With how successful it has been everywhere else in the world, I would have hoped we would have had it by now. Great Job LiveStrong!!!


  5. Farkus says:

    I do not care what happens with healthcare as long as medical techniques get better/stay the same, costs do not go up, old people aren’t pressured into dying, and those who work for it receive healthcare while those who don’t work for it due to laziness, do not. I will not tolerate paying for laziness while I am out blogging for a living trying to be a decent bro.

  6. scott k says:

    we need legal refom too. get the lawyers out of medicine.

  7. John says:

    This is well written, well thought out, and reasonable. I hope the urgency and logic behind arguments like this one will carry the day over knee-jerk reactions and unreasoned shouting matches (on both sides of the coin).


  8. George Fallar says:

    I have to say that it’s a difficult problem to decipher, but I hoped for a more definitive position from LIVESTRONG.

  9. Daniel says:

    Well put. I am being medically retired from the military due to a new health condition that in the civilian world would disqualify me from medical coverage. While I’m sad to leave the military I can say the healthcare has been great. Just one of my weekly meds costs over $1000 and I’m on nearly 40 different medications. I will be a lucky one and still recieve government health insurance at no cost but my heart aches for those with my condition and can not afford healthcare or can not even qualify. This from a Republican! I too would love to see some kind of reform so all can have a choice without being forced. If we rank #37 in the world then that means we have 36 examples of how we can work this problem out and hopefully even improve on their tried and true systems.

  10. Anne Marie says:

    I applaud your boldness in stating “Too many minority and economically disadvantaged Americans suffer and die in far greater proportion than their fellow citizens.” You are right. And, although the fundamental principles you advocate are all absolutely necessary, I’m sorry to see no strong statement that actually covering every man, woman and child is also fundamental to health care reform. Health care which continues to be inextricably linked with employment will continue to exclude large numbers of our brothers and sisters.

  11. Paul Brewer says:

    I am from Great Britain and I am an advocate of the NHS it is one of the greatest medical systems in the world because no matter who you are you will be treated the same by great Doctors and Nurses who keep you going through out what ever illness you have. I had Cancer this time last year and was cured by the great help of the NHS and its team of Doctors and Nurses of course this service is not free it is run by indirectTaxes but it works and you Americans are over 50 years behind the UK in Treatment to Patients no matter where you come from age or sex or religion no matter how much money you have the NHS treats every one to the highest standards and you need to take up this system to catch up with the World.

  12. @Albigeois says:

    Bravo. Let’s hope they can get some traction, and get it somewhere approaching right. It’s scandalous that the USA is so backward in health care for its people. How can you expect to be a leader on the global stage if your people are sick? You can’t… and the cracks are starting to show.

  13. Shannon O'Shea says:

    United we stand, divided we fall. We’re in the process of falling. We have the best chance in our country’s history to provide affordable universal healthcare coverage to all of our citizens. This may be the last opportunity to show each other and the world that we practice what we preach. Love thy neighbor, pass healthcare reform.

  14. Eddy says:

    There’s no doubt that it is time for reform. The problem is that itis being driven by politicians who do not get into the details of what they propose. Thisack of understanding on both sides of the political aisle. High level statements such as “we will make healthcare available to all” no longer cut. We need details to make a decision. Scare tactic statements from the right do not cut it either. Tell us exactly what you propose and how you plan to accomplish it. Until this occurs, healthcare reform is doomed. Whether it fails at the beginning, never getting passed or it fails after passed due to a lack of into the actual needs that should been addressed, it does not matter. Failure is failure. If you want succeddful healthcare reform, do everything you can now to define it, before this turns into another debacle.

  15. Brian B says:

    America is not a 3rd-world-nation, that’s true. But the sense of entitlement for living in this country is getting out of hand. Everyone is “owed” a job, and “owed” and education and “owed” healthcare. Not so. Our founding fathers were not given a thing – they worked for it.

    And though I agree that everyone should be provided with healthcare, it should not be a government run or controlled system. There are over 1,300 private insurance providers – that is plenty of competition. We’re better off managing the exceptions – people who get treated, even though they can’t pay – by gradually increasing the costs to those of us who can. That will still be cheaper, in the long run, than an ever increasing tax burden brought on by an inefficiently managed government healthcare beauracracy.

    A socialized healthcare system will undo every bit of good that the Livestrong foundation has fought for. There will be no government money left to fund research becuase we’ll be paying to manage a losing public healthcare disaster created our elected officials.

  16. C C H says:

    As long as it doesn’t include government involvement I’m all for it. I do not believe for a minute government can fix the health system. I’d like to see them fix problems within the government before they screw up anything else. Bigger government is not the solution, it is the problem.

  17. Mandy McCall says:

    I totally agree. It is ridiculous how hard it is to find good, affordable insurance.

  18. donna gallo says:

    Reform what the doctor’s charge & the cost of prescriptions! Doctors & pharmacials co. are getting richer by the day. The medical field should post their fees just like any other business.

  19. Dan Haygeman says:

    It strikes me that I am being invited to see the world differently as I think about health care and what could be. As a mentor of mine pointed out, if I change the way I see the world, I change the way I see myself. “This is challenging,” he said, “because no one likes to wake up and find they are not who they thought they were.”

  20. Ralph says:

    you basically said nothing. What is your stance on the single payer option? only comment IF you can explain or understand what the single payer option is. So far, there is no information getting out there via the mainstream media or at best a smear campaign against it.

    I hope that you understand that the single payer option does NOT interfere with medical care, it will only erase the “for profit” insurance companies that currently find every excuse in the book not to cover someone.

    Health care should NOT be a “for profit” venture. The single payer option WILL make healthcare afordable for everyone. People may scoff at similar systems in France and Canada, but the truth is that everyone in those countries are covered cradle to grave no matter their condition. The “for profit” system by definition seeks to maximize profit and minimize costs to the detriment of our society. Some things in society should not be for profit. That includes, police, fire, education, and health care.

  21. Pete says:

    I agree with your points and heart because it puts humanity first, but this is not what’s on the table. It’s packages this way, but as you review the bill in detail, it’s not what’s inside. Not debating, just my own personal view. Love your vision and how impactful you have been in our home town of ATX


  22. Ralph says:

    wow even you people are covering up the single payer option debate. weaklings. dont be scared of dissent.

  23. Duddley says:

    very well stated! my concern with health care reform is that existing government run programs like ‘cash for clunkers’, the bank bail out, social security, etc., are – at best – very expensive and very poorly managed.

  24. Hance West says:

    What are cancer survival rates in countries govt run healthcare. The stats I have seen are not good. Many items in the healthcare system need reform but thinking it is an unlimited good available to all at any level is a myth

  25. Ray Lefonts says:

    Under government control more American will die of cancer, don’t believe me?.Ask the Canadien or the British.

  26. marco pantani says:

    Ridiculous! Healthcare for the entire planet is an INFINITE cost that has no end. Its funny how words like “universal” and “equality” get thrown around without realizing that there are not enough resources to cover 30% of the USA.. let alone the world! — Involving politicans in Health care only guarantees it failure!

  27. Justin says:

    Sorry but your 4 bullet points are so self evident and non controversial that I fail to see how you are adding anything meaningful to this dialogue.

    The Devils in the details and making hard choices and that’s where we’re stuck as a nation. Help out there by leading with a voice. Stating that no one should be dropped and we should continue to innovate is just kind of so obvious as to be redundant.

  28. Roger says:

    “LIVESTRONG does not endorse any specific reform plan,” why not? What “evidence-based analysis” have you published?

  29. Steve says:

    Livestrong movement is a force of good in this world so full of the opposite. Thanks for your comments on healthcare reform which I support wholeheartedly. I’m becoming more convinced that the opposition to reform as being presented by President Obama isn’t as much about principle and ideaology, but more about opposition politics. Most people I hear angrily running their mouths are just set on fire by radio talk shows; and when I listen to them myself I’m hearing hatespeech. These angry ones should try to present legitimate arguments. They can’t be specific either.

  30. judy and larry chavez says:

    Bravo–So glad to see Livestrong support access for all to quality health care–cancer cannot be cured until all can have medical care.

  31. Lupe says:

    Without a dough our health care system needs to be fix not changed, in some states we have a limited time for pre existing condition, we also have unlimeted lifetime benefits its not perfect and it’s not inexpensive but works for most, Let’s fix it but not change it, our systems is still the best in the word.

  32. Steven P says:

    As a Canadian I expect and rely on a universal health-care system which does not care where I work or who I am. It comes at a cost, but one which most Canadians are willing to pay for these guarantees. The debate is too politically charged for the US to overcome, but I do hope that the efforts will set the stages so that at some time it happens.

  33. gottobike says:


  34. Wade Wilson says:

    There is no such thing as health reform without Tort reform.Period.

  35. Charles Anderson says:

    The real problem with the cost of health care in this country boils down to one thing. Lawyers. Any true health care reform has to include tort reform around health care. Does anyone really think they make drugs 3-4 times cheaper in Canada than in the US? No, they just don’t pay outtageous insurance costs on the drugs due to lawsuits.

    ‘Nuff said,

  36. David L says:

    I recall watching a movie about cancer during school in the fifth grade. Researchers interviewed in the movie talked about finding a cure for cancer in ten years. I thought “how could it possibly take that long?” The year was 1974.

    We have made great progress on many fronts, but there is a long way to go. I believe the quickest way to almost any goal is two words: “Profit Motive”. We must continue to find ways to encourage free markets in all areas of medical care and innovation and cost reductions will follow.

    Certainly, mistakes will be made and these mistakes will likely harm some people, but I believe the greater good will ultimately be served.

  37. Lara says:

    To quote Lance Armstrong, “Hellzyeah.”

  38. mike taylor says:

    Well said, but let’ include tort reform in the plan.

  39. AC says:

    I’m sure that LIVESTRONG is a champion of the “miracle of medicine”. I can assure you that life saving cancer treatments are extremely difficult and expensive to develop. As hard as it is to accept, pharmaceutical companies are not charities. What drives investment in drug research and innovation is the possibility of profiting from scientific research. To the extent that you remove that incentive (via price controls on drugs) you diminish the hope for new treatments.

  40. Gary says:

    Get real. Many folks in this country fail to have health insurance because the don’t think that it’s a priority. They would rather spend their money on BMW payments. Sending money back to their second family in another country. Taking vacations that they really can’t afford, or they are young, invincible and spend their money on all of the latest electronic equipment. Don’t think this is true, consider how many people drive without insurance, and even us who have insurance have to have uninsured motorist insurance. Go figure. I pay $1K a month for the best Kaiser HMO plan available. I choose to because my family and is important to me. Why should I take a cut in services in order to pay for people who want a free ride, or why should I pay for them? Canada’s plan is not free, nor is the UK. Check out the tax rates there and talk to them personally. I have and it’s not a better system. Elective surgeries like knee replacements generally take around 2-3 years to get. A lot of procedures are denied as well as drugs for seniors. Wake up America, this is not a socialist or communist country YET!

  41. mike says:


  42. LP says:

    ditto Brian B. (comment #15)

  43. Mick Scrimshaw says:

    Here in the UK we really don’t understand America’s reluctance to embrace a system for all, and the recent criticism of our NHS was largely based on untruths and caused great distress across all political spectrum. If America can have a debate around the values you promote without ideology getting in the way, then surely improvements will follow that the whole world will eventually benefit from. Good luck.

  44. phstvns says:

    It would be appreciated if organizations stayed within the bounds of their established realm instead of making statements that are meaningless. America has the best health care in the world, bar none. Continuing to push the “socialist agenda” does not change the facts.

  45. Joel says:

    That’s all well in good but can you ride the political fence any further. Future cancer patients, ones that have yet to be diagnosed, rich and poor, will suffer with the current plan, period. Look no further than cancer survival rates in Canada and the UK.

    Your first, second, and last bullet points are blown out of the water by proposed “plan” that Obama has put to the people. The only thing we will all get is equality, in poor care, service, and result in diminished survivor rates.

    Get off the fence and stop drinking the Obama cool-aid. It’s had to support anything Livestrong seeing the politics your playing with peoples lives.

  46. RM says:

    Some of us Canadians are getting tired of seeing US television ads saying our health care system does not work. The political activists trying to keep the status quo in the US are doing there job. I had stage 3B anal cancer 2 years ago and received world class health care at the BC Cancer Agency and paid nothing for it. Had I been treated in the US the care would have been no different except I might have died from not being able to afford the care. I truly hope the US can reform health care so that no American must look at loved one in the eyes and tell them they are going to die because they cannot afford their treatment.

  47. Brian Starr says:

    Healthcare is and must remain an absolute priority in the USA. The present healthcare system does not fulfill the needs of our citizens and the system is in dire need of a complete revision. Our present system is a shame and a sham and in my opinion is a disgrace for a nation as great as the United States. The United States of America is but a very large community and this community needs to take care of one and all, whether rich or poor. Good, accessible, fair and truly economical healthcare will benefit the entire nation. After all, what is the alternative? Continue on our present course? I think not.

  48. Josh says:

    Brian B (#15): The guy who really financed the “founding fathers” was John Hancock, and he inherited his fortune from an uncle who made it in the slave trade.

  49. We want to hear from you. This is meant to engage our constituents in a dialogue and we want to hear why you think a certain measure will not meet these principles or how a measure would meet these principles. Please know that we will not approve any comments that are hurtful or disrespectful to others. Disagree with us, agree with us, but remain respectful. Thank you.

  50. Bill Bryant says:

    Well said. It’s very much in tune with what President Obama said last night. He said he had an open door, have you been in contact?

  51. Darren Weisz says:

    I would love HC reform but I feel we need to pay off our deficit and build up a surplus to pay for HC reform.

  52. jjdzoom says:

    Sounds like Livestrong is advocating for a Government run option. I doubt Lance himself would have accepted government run healthcare when he was ill. I seem to remember his treatment being the best the world had to offer at the time and I seem to remember friends, family, business associates all coming together to ensure Lance got the best treatment. I doubt a government run option would have produced the same level of care. As with every other government run program, except the military, the goal is mediocrity and the vast majority of the time these programs acheive less.

  53. Rhoda Bryant says:

    I agree whole-heartedly with your points, and especially those that were presented by President Obama last night. The problem as I see it are those in Congress who prefer to make this a partisan issue rather than solving an American problem.

  54. Eugene says:

    I agree that there needs to be some kind of reform, because insurance coverage is becoming very expensive. However I’m not in favor of a single payer system. If we take a look at all of the government run systems: medicare, social security, amtrack, postal service, freddie mac and fannie mae, one thing that they all have in common is that they’re all broken either financially or how they are run. This does not give me ANY comfort knowing that the government will make this work and be viable w/o taxing the crap out of us to fund it. I am for tort reform and also maybe to have a ‘public option’ but i’m definitely not for government takeover of the system. If they want to be a competitor in the market, then sure, but not as the only provider. Polls have shown time and time again that 70-80% of currently insured people are happy with their current coverage. The number of uninsured are going to vary between 15-40 million. Regardless, that is only 5-15% of our population. Instead of turning over the entire apple cart why don’t they just create a system for the uninsured who can’t afford it by making it affordable for them? This makes the most sense to me.

  55. jjdzoom- We have not endorsed any specific plan as state above. Any plan would need to meet the four points listed. As far as Lance- he was not insured at the time of his diagnosis, but luckily was able to get covered by his sponsor before treatment. This is not the norm and the millions of uninsured and underinsured in the US know this.

  56. L Rhyan says:

    Ditto jjdzoom – I wonder if Lance’s recovery would have been the same had the government option been in place. Would Lance himself been written off as too costly to treat, or delayed so long that the progress of his disease resulted in his demise?

  57. shaun says:

    Some seem to be forgetting that the “option” is just that,… an OPTION. Those for whom it is an attractive option are those who don’t yet have health insurance, whom the rest of us are currently paying for indirectly when we buy our insurance. I doubt if i will switch to the public option, but am glad it will be there so others less fortunate than myself will finally have the chance to be insured.
    It’s not government run health care, it’s a government-backed insurance OPTION.

  58. Kathy Brown says:

    To jjdzoom….under the proposed HCRP, everyone still has the option to CHOOSE whether they want to participate or not. As for the military…they are no exception to the horrendous management of resources. I retired after 27 years and I speak from experience.

  59. Greg Klug says:

    The debate of healthcare reform begins – not surprisingly – with a concept that costs us absolutely nothing….tort reform. Guarantees are for brake pad and muffler shops, not anything our government was set up to provide. Free choice of quality care is what we are all after here. Making it competitive for all is a matter of economics, not governmental regulation and oversite. I come from the city Lance was treated at for his cancer and the buzz word here is Quality, not Equality. Equality has nothing to do with disease – we all share the risk by nature, not by our leaders. Not perfect by any stretch, we still own access to the best healthcare in the world – I, for one, never want to give that up for the sake a a morally and politically flawed argument.

  60. Cruncher says:

    Love the 4 points but very concerned how we get them. Our Founding Fathers had some good ideas- LIMIT Federal Government and empower states. Letting the Fed. Gov’t get started as competitor in industry is very wrong and a very dangerous direction for our country. Reform can happen by Federal Government working with states and industry to limit malpractice claims, create more choices by allowing competition between state lines and developing incentives for healthy lifestyles.

  61. Cat says:

    The problem with reform is look who is trying to set it up. People who can’t even balance their own checkbooks, who have illicit affairs and employ those self same people on their staffs courtesy of the taxpayer’s dollar. People who spend taxpayer money on trips to wherever to visit a “lover” or who spend their time coming on to congressional pages. People who should have been fired a longtime ago. Pres. Obama is trying so hard to push this reform through it makes me feel like we are getting the bum’s rush. I would love to see health reform as long as its done right no porkbelly spending attached. A public option might not be a bad idea. Why? Because the private insurance companies don’t want it. They’ll have to match it or lose the business. Look around you how many people do you know that lie and cheat and arou only out for themselves. We created the society of today and we are most definitly reaping what we’ve sown. I think its very noble that the LiveSTRONG Foundation supports fundimental principles well so do I, but I can’t support a reform package written by our current Congress because I don’t believe they have our true welfare foremost in their minds.

  62. Josh says:

    As many before me have noted, insured or not, no one is refused treatment in American hospitals. If someone goes without treatment, it is through lack of willingness to take advantage of the current, in place, laws that require treatment for all, regardless of age, health, wealth, race, religion or politics.

    As a political voice, livestrong certainly has the right to voice an opinion in this debate, nor do I believe it would be negative if it followed those 4 points as stated. However, if you read the multiple bills on offer, all of them,in exchange for a limited change in service demand the surrender of liberty and privacy.

    And that, gentlemen, is a trade off we cannot afford.

    As far as financing the bill, the taxes and fees begin immediately, while services wait 6-7 years for implementation. If you carry the balance of moneys in vs. money out, there is no way regardless of the tax increases that this plan can be deficit neutral 10 years out, much less 50 years out. Do the math. We can’t afford it.

  63. Adam Clark says:


    The LAF does stress Quality as you mention – our fourth pillar is Medical Excellence. But we also believe in Equality, which is essential to good health care and spans across diseases. The college graduate looking for his first job, the single mother raising two children, the fifty year old starting his own business, or a cancer survivor looking to switch jobs – all have different goals and aspirations and all need health care. A ?one size fits all? approach does not adequately address the needs of a diverse population, or the needs of complex diseases like cancer. There must be flexibility in the system so that Americans can customize their coverage to meet their needs. For example, cancer survivors should have a system flexible enough to get a health care plan that allows for additional screenings for secondary cancers, various treatment options including clinical trials, and survivorship planning services. Standard benefits that deliver proven care should be a part of any package, but Equality means Americans have the flexibility to personalize coverage to their individual lifestyle.

  64. Paul says:

    jjdzoom and others; If the insurance industry operated on a moral and ethical basis the government would not have to become involved in this issue (which I would prefer). Unfortunately they do not. Several years ago I left my job of 25 years and applied for individual health insurance. I was happy to pay for it…if I could get it. I was turned down when the insurance underwriter reviewed my recent medical history. I had sinus surgery two years before. By securing my recent medical records they found that I had been treated for testicular cancer…in 1989! No insurance for me. The fact that I rode my bicycle more than 5,000 miles that year or that I had recently cycled across the USA did not matter. Any excuse to deny would do. If you believe insurance companies will do the right thing without government over-sight, I have some swampland in New Jersey I’d like to sell you. If we’re such a great country, can’t we do better than this? I can only HOPE!

  65. TC says:

    I am also in the UK and just want you to know that in my experience our National Health Service is superb. In the last 12 months, members of my close family have received a hip replacement, a triple heart bypass, emergency treatment for a cycling accident and begun treatment for advanced cancer. Yes we may pay a little bit more Tax but compared to paying for private health care there is probably not much in it. No matter what life throws at me I know that I will always receive fantastic health care. Is this not something that every American should be entitled to?

  66. Doug Feser says:

    I’m Canadien & don’t understand the fuss, we love our health care system.

  67. ld says:

    From this site:

    Requesting simpler to understand and read 20 pages bills. I doubt seriously if anyone understands what these things really mean:

    Consider section 805 (p. 157), mandating that employers provide health insurance for their workers:

    “Section 502 of such Act (29 USC 1132) is amended in subsection (a) (6) by striking paragraph and all that follows through subsection (c) and inserting paragraph (2), (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) or (11) of subsection (c) and (2) in subsection (c), by redesignating the second paragraph (10) as paragraph (12) and by inserting after the first paragraph (10) the following new paragraph.”

  68. Thom says:

    What scares me about the government being involved with health care is the condition of Medicaid, Medicare, The US Postal Service, and the DMV to name a few. Anyone ever had any dealings with anything the government is in charge of?? Lot’s of fun, huh?

  69. MarcyT says:

    I totally agree with Paul. When my husband was considering freelancing, we looked into insurance and the list that was provided to us of conditions that disqualified you from getting a policy was astounding… and atrocious. They wouldn’t even cover children with type one diabetes. My husband had a bulging disc issue that we weren’t sure how the condition would eventually be resolved, so he remained with his employer and lost the opportunity to be his own boss. I am looking forward to reform. It is long overdue. We need to try something, and if we learn that further changes need to be made, then so be it. To sit here arguing, is worthless.

  70. Fred S says:

    Everyone crys out for the downtrodden from their ivory towers.
    If you don’t show income or own property, you can get ALL the
    healthcare you need RIGHT NOW at the taxpayers expense.
    I know several people doing this right now. What about the people who draw a taxable paycheck, own a house and have to pay $500 a month for insurance on a $35k salary?
    That $500 premium is for a family of four and it’s garbage
    level coverage with bills coming in the mail from any doc visit.
    I think the plan to force everyone to pay for insurance is
    a great dream. The trouble is unlike with auto insurance
    the uninsured won’t be forced to meet their liabilities, taxpayers
    will still hold the bag.

  71. Fred S says:

    Why can’t everyone sign up for the healthcare the teachers, police and fire personel get?
    $200 a month to cover 3 people with no copayment.
    There are credit unions open to the public now?
    Does anyone know why this pool of health coverage
    can’t be open to everyone?

  72. Chris Kirk says:

    I am British and a cancer survivor. I cannot understand the response of some of you guys to plans for universal health care. The National Health service in Britain diagnosed my prostate cancer when I was 53 and had no symptoms. I was treated rapidly and had a radical prostatectomy (my choice) but the tumour had broken out of the prostate capsule. Careful monitoring established that cancer cells were still present and salvage radiation finally cured me. I am now 58 and doing well.
    More recently, I had an operaton to repair a torn cartilage within 10 days of diagnosis.
    All this treatment was free, on the NHS and available to all. In the UK, we spent 8% 0f GDP on Health Care, the US spends 16%. – The difference? – Profits to private companies, not healthcare to patients.
    Please wise up America before it is too late.

  73. Rick Leoni says:

    If the public option is cheapest, all major companies will end up on that plan. I would guess the public option will pay providers somewhere between medicare and medicaid fees. Right now, the majority of hospitals lose 7% by accepting medicare fees. If the majority of private pay pts begin paying less than medicare thru the govt option, hospitals will close. Thus the overall cost of health care will go down, but who will provide it?

  74. Gigi says:

    For me it’s a HUMAN issue. We all as humans have the right to health care….period. If it means I get taxed a little bit more so that everyone can have access to it, I am fine with that. I don’t know what the future holds for me or my family. We may lose our jobs, or get very sick and lose lots of money and all of s sudden can’t afford care. But shouldn’t I still have the right to get care?

    It has saddened me to see how this has become such a polarizing issue in this country. How politicians on both side of the isle are playing the politics game rather than working for the common good. How much hatred and dis contempt for fellow Americans people are showing is beyond me. And never in my life did I think I would see a sitting President of the United States get heckled during a formal joint session of Congress.

  75. Bob says:

    Hey Gigi, the Democrats booed GW Bush in his 2000 State of the Union address. And by the way, you don’t have a right to health care, you have a right to acquire health care, check the Bill of Rights, it is amazing what you find you actually have a “right” to.

  76. Pronghorn says:

    Equality??? That sounds like a great ideal. But how do you practically accomplish this. People with money and power will always be able to get better care than the masses.

    What about the money to pay for this??? How about a one time estate tax of 10 percent on all citizens with a net worth of $10mm or more. Also, raise federal income tax to 70% for incomes over $500K annually. This is the kind of revenue that is going to be needed to meet the objectives as spelled out. Many of the socialist democracies who have health care for the masses currently tax there citizens at this rate.

    The current plan does not address tort reform. Without tort reform any reform plan is insincere.

    Health care for everyone sounds like a great idea. But, are we Americans willing to count the costs and sacrifice personally to obtain it?

  77. Dan Haygeman says:

    Thank you to Brooke McMillan (LAF Staff) for the reminder about remaining respectful. As Michael Setters pointed out in a recent conversation, “It is pretty astounding that well intentioned humans can feel such different and passionate emotions on opposite sides of a debate that at some fundamental level we might all agree on. I see the desired outcome: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as requiring that I hold both myself and those who see the world differently as valuable and worthwhile. (I find this much easier to do when people grant the sincerity and good will of others in the conversation.) “I will be intolerant of your intolerance as long as I can maintain a decent and health-enhancing mood while doing so.”

  78. Ivan says:

    Really, these arguments against publicly administered programs have no merit. Social Security admin costs are at less than 1% of the trust fund, Medicare operates at about 2%, and the postal service delivers mail for $0.40. Private insurance operates at 20% admin costs and try getting your mail delivered that cheaply by Fed Ex!

    The reason that the government plans are in fiscal trouble is that they are subject to political pressure and underfunding – mostly caused by conservatives who hate the programs in the first place! Let’s be honest, you hate the public option because it will undermine your entire, bankrupt political philosophy.

  79. lesley says:

    I must speak out against the NHS healthcare system in the UK. The people who commented above and were please with the system were not doctors I suspect. My husband and I have worked in the NHS as doctors for 25+ years. I was diagnonsed with a rare cancer 30 months ago. The attitude of the NHS to rare cancers is we cannont afford everything. The doctors and nurses have been wonderful in trying to help me to accept my destiny. I had a 1:3 chance of metastatic disease to the liver of which the only proven effective treaatment is liver resection. You can only get resection if you have adequate scanning my risks were not high enought to merit NHS scanning of my liver. I acheived high grade scanning because of my medical knowledge- the other 300 patients each year in my country do not know they need it. The attititude is one of its better for them(patients) not to know. After 2 scans I got a positive at which point the NHS would treat me again. Rescanning showed growth and malignant features. Only option to diagnosis was liver resection. I found out my lesion was malignant on 20th August the earliest the NHS could operate would be 28th September again my medical knowledge meant I knew my outcome would be worse as my tumor doubling time is 28 days. I went privately money is not worth life.
    I have lucky to have been supported via LAF they gave me the resolve to walk against the flow, I am lucky to have medical knowledge so I can access my care and choose it more on outcomes and chances than emotional responses to healers. I am lucky I had the financial resources to pay for care which otherwise I would not have recieved. I often feel guilty for the other patients with my cancer who are not informed so even if they have the money they can not make their choice.Our system in the UK is not universal it is a sham.

  80. Rick Leoni says:

    Ivan, where do you get your numbers?
    Medicare’s administrative cost run 40%. That fact has been well documented.

  81. David Kobelin says:

    The role of caring for one another is a personal one, not governmental. Their role is clearly defined by our constitution and does not include making health care a mandatory right for all. This is a cop out for those who do not want to take personal responsibility for their brother and sister.

    85% of the people in this country are happy with their current health care. That is not a “broken, unsustainable system” To restructure the whole thing for the sake of 15% is not only non-sensible, it is heartless and uncaring.

    Address TORT reform and open up insurance companies to competition across state lines, both things the government has not addressed effectively, and a tremendous reformation would take place in the cost of affordable health care for the majority of Americans.

  82. Neil says:

    HC reform sounds nice but when the Federal Governments gets involved with running a business you lose quality and freedom. I haven’t found the line in the Constitution yet that gives the Fed’s this responsibility.

  83. Nicole says:

    As a person who works in a home health care company I cannot agree with this health care reform. I believe our elder patients will get less benefits than before and from I understand it’ll be more like Medicaid rather than Medicare…and we all know how much Medicaid sucks A$$. I’ve seen very ill patients being turned down for common stuff/services and we would have to discharge them bc we didn’t have the funding from their insurance to keep them on. Yes, it would be great to get universal care but it would be awful if the quality of that care would be crappy. Crappy universal health care vs Good limited health care?..hmm…How can you possibly keep a high standard of quality when you have to provide it for everyone? It’s like making lemonade for a million people….eventually you’ll run out of sugar bc you can’t afford it and all you have is lemon water.

  84. B Lipa says:

    Good points. We must also find a way for competition among the plans offered. I believe the best way is to offer a robust public option. For instance if we just support plans across state lines many of the same companies are often owned by one larger name and that is not true competition. Also if the public option is not a strong one and the private companies can deny you for any reason with a year or two the public option can go under hampered by being loaded with possibly the more severe cases denied entry from the private sector. The private sector and most like Republicans who are supported by the private companies can then justify the foolishness of a public option. This is wrong so a robust public option is going to provide more competition and keep costs in line. Right now we have several govt option for certain parts of the population like Congress, Veterans, Seniors with Medicare, Medicaid. So Go LIVESTRONG, Go OBAMA and work hard to support Govt. legislation like HR 3200. Thank you

  85. Neil says:

    Hey, we are not infants or Europeans. We are Americans and we don’t need Mama Government to take care of us. We prefer the government to step back and let us live our life, enjoy our liberty and pursue our own happiness.

  86. Jeff Mulder says:

    This is a good start. The LAF needs, however, to make a stand on how we GET these four fundamental principles. What health care system do the LAF employees use? Is there a way we can set an example to others? How to we reward those who live healthy life styles? I do not think the LAF has to be right. I do think we need to experiment!

  87. Christina Lee says:

    While I do not personally condone the government running programs, I think it has significant responsibility for oversight of industry, and it has obviously failed in the past decade to properly regulate financial services, health care, and insurance carriers. The government stepping back from its duty to protect its citizens is where the trouble started…Now you need to take this message out to the general public — Lance should be making the LS position clear on the radio, TV, etc. Posting it here is just preaching to the converted — those with interest in promoting hc access.

  88. broadcast says:

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a
    colleague who has been doing a little research on this.

    And he in fact ordered me dinner because I stumbled upon it for
    him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!

    But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this topic here on your blog.

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