LIVESTRONG Supports Senate Health Care Bill


We sent a letter Sunday to Capitol Hill in support of the Senate health care reform bill. Ultimately, we made our decision because we felt that passage of this bill will improve the lives of people affected by cancer in a number of ways. The bill:

  • Ensures that there will be no annual or lifetime coverage limits. This is a big issue for some cancer patients who face extremely expensive treatments. A cancer diagnosis should not mean that you have to go broke or into debt because your treatment costs exceed the annual insurance cap.
  • Requires insurance companies to cover the routine care costs for patients who have enrolled in a clinical trial. Some health plans do not cover these costs, including doctor visits, hospital stays and lab tests.
  • Prohibits discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions, like cancer.

We were joined by the American Cancer Society and the American Public Health Association in support of the bill.

The final passage vote will take place on Christmas Eve. Below is the letter that we sent to Senator Harry Reid?s office today.

Once the bill passes the Senate, it will then need to be reconciled with the version that passed the House in November. We are prepared to continue our work to ensure that those negotiations produce the best possible bill from the perspective of people affected by cancer.

livestrong senate letter 12 20 09


  1. Scott Joy says:

    Thank you for standing up for people affected by cancer and speaking with a clear, firm voice of reason amidst the cacophony.

  2. Gary Moyle says:

    Although I agree with you on helping cancer patients I don’t think this is the way. How about we reform current insurance policy instead of re-inventing the wheel? There are over 1300 insurance companies in operation now…how will one more help? Purchacing across state lines, removing state mandates( did you know one state mandates ALL people with health insurance must be covered for in-vetro fertilization?)
    We need reform but not government run. We are paying $300 mil. to secure one vote from Louisana! I dont see how the same people who raided social security, medicare, the post office etc. can be trusted to provide healthcare. Lance, talk to Canada patients & see how this system works. (doesn’t work).
    I am person who lost a Father, Brother & many other family members to Cancer, so I am not heartless, but I don’t think this is the fix.

  3. John Gray says:

    I support Livestrong in its work to defeat cancer. I do NOT, however, agree with their support of this healthcare travesty. As much as I would like to continue to financially support Livestrong, the idea of my donations going to support horrendous legisation like this causes me to seek out a different outlet for my cancer donations.

  4. Allen Chambers says:

    I can’t express how disappointed I am to see this. I just can’t understand why an organization like LiveStrong needs to be involved in such partisan political activities. I can’t in good conscience see giving money to a “charitable” organization that uses it to support something so blatantly political. What a terrible mistake you have made.

  5. Thank you very much for commenting on our recent support of the Senate Healthcare Reform bill. We want to ensure you that we do not take these decisions for support on legislation lightly. Our history has been one of supporting (and not supporting) legislation at the federal, state and municipal level which improves the lives of those living with cancer. This has included restrictions on tobacco use, increased funding at NIH and a major statewide initiative in Texas focusing on innovative research and prevention. All of these involved engaging in the political systems. However, we see legislation as only one piece of the larger issue of care.

    While we have always been and remain non-partisan, the reality of the legislative process at every level demands that we weigh in, at times, to state our position specifically ensures that there will be no annual or lifetime coverage limits, requires insurance companies to cover the routine care costs for patients who have enrolled in a clinical trial and prohibits discrimination against those with preexisting conditions, like cancer. That’s our mission.
    We will remain on top of this issue as the House and Senate bills are combined. We want to hear your opinions and want to know how healthcare affects you and your family- access, costs, coverage for your cancer or preexisting conditions, etc. Please know that we take this very seriously and we want to hear your thoughts.

  6. Ken says:

    As a supporter of this charity, I am disappointed in your understanding of the overall implications that this legislation poses. Why would any cancer patient want their patient/doctor privacy compromised through a nationalized healthcare database that this bill will enact? Why would they want to become a number with a “score” to determine their viability and value to society before being awarded rationed care? Why would anyone trust any government bureaucrat to dictate what course of treatment they be allowed to seek out? Ever been to the VA hospital or even try to apply for a passport at the post office? These are fine examples of how well the government manages and delivers services to consumers. Get real.

  7. Allen Chambers says:


    Thanks for your thoughtful response. I certainly agree that it is necessary to weigh in on the issues of importance to the cancer community; I would only say that making recommendations on what you believe is important seems clearly on the “safe” side of the non-partisan/partisan divide, but making recommendations on a vote seems to be a step into the partisan “fray.” I can appreciate the difficulties in knowing where to draw a line as an organization.

    I support every point that you mention as important things that I think we can all agree on. However, this bill seems to do nothing to combat rising costs and I fear will lead to rationed care and disincentives to innovate that will end up costing more and providing less than the admittedly flawed system we have now. As a result, it makes me question the judgment of the Livestrong board in supporting its passage. I pray that time proves me wrong, but until that time I can’t conscionably support your recommendation or the organization.

  8. Jere Carpentier says:

    Again thank you for the work LAF is doing with this. I a VERY MUCH FOR passing these bills. I am surviving my 3rd primary and totally “feel” the pain of so many uninsured…or those denied. In fact, knowing that Oakley helped Lance…I stopped into an Oakley Store today here in San Jose while holiday shopping…just to thank them and let them know how lucky they were to be working in a company that really cares. They were all so excited to hear that…and all wanted to pass on the words “GO LANCE”!!!

  9. Mark McClure says:

    Sorry to hear that your site has endorsed the Health care reform bill. Socialism cloaked in any camoflage is still socialism.

    I have metastic colon cancer and I am 47 years old and male. If the Gov. gets control of the health care industry my 4% chance of cure from chemo would not be considered appropriate and therefore not covered. Now with the burden of Cancer and bills, my health care insurance will be taxed. I’m pissed and mad that your name is associated with the Obama care. I also wanted to purchase your clothing to support cancer and your vision. Bottom line is that it is priced for the elite. I and my wife earn $102k with 3 tenagers……i can’t afford any more tax and subsidies for others out of my paycheck… I don’t even know how long I will be able to work. Health Care reform is false and no more than a power grab and an attempt to redistribute wealth. If our health care system is so bad,,, why do people come here for health care? Please consider your boards recomendation to support this bill.

    Politics suck as much as cancer! :(


    Mark in WV

  10. J F Jackson says:

    As a fan and a Texan I am dissappointed in the support you have given the Health Scare Bill. I am for reform, such as no pre-existing conditions, tort reform, lower cost at point of service, removing age based risk assessments and genetic history. As a person who believes in personal and moral responsibilty and a defender of the US Constitution this bill provides nothing of the sort. The Bill itself cannot stand on it’s own merit within the ranks of the legislators that wrote it. Having to make deals to obtain just 3 votes for passage is in itself a message of how bad it truly is. Harry Reid’s own constituents in Nevada are not in favor of the Bill. A majoity of the citizens of this great state (Texas) are not in favor as well. To have this bill come out of a closed door commitee and voted on in 72 hours (at 1am)is shady tactics and makes me wonder how our elected officials are truly representing their people. Supporting this Bill supports the very government that has removed the power from the people. If health care reform is truly what LiveStrong wants then it needs to lobby the industry that needs to reform. Rise up against the actual health care companies and make them change the way business is done. Create a movement against the insurance companies. Start dialog with them.

  11. Norm in Sacramento says:

    I see that the comments are running hot against the foundation for taking a principled stand in favor of health care reform. LiveSTRONG has a mission to accomplish, and it is healthy living for everyone…not just those who happen to have insurance, not just those who currently have a job. There are tweaks that will be needed in the legislation, but I applaud Lance and the foundation for taking this stand. It is consistent with the mission; it is consistent with what our country needs. Eventually we will see the logic and effectiveness of true universal health care — as practiced by every other developed country on the planet. Contrary to the assertions above, the Canadians, the Brits, the French, the Spaniards enjoy universal coverage that equals or exceeds ours in quality. Read the fine print: THERE ARE NO RATIONING PROVISIONS in the current bill!

  12. Caroline says:

    I live in Australia and while reading Mr Armstrong’s biography I got the impression that there is very little or poor cancer screening for people – both insured and uninsured – in the U.S. Here in Australia our government has been very proactive for many years in providing the public – everyone, poor or rich, and totally free of charge – cancer screening tests such as bowel cancer (stool test kits were sent to the homes of everyone over a certain age e.g. 55 years), cervical cancer (pap smears), breast cancer (mammorgrams for women aged over, I think, 55), skin cancer. I don’t know anyone who is not at least vaguely aware of symptoms of any of the above due to the heavy media and government support of finding cancer early.
    By the way, this is a great cause and I wish Mr Armstrong all the best especially for his ride in Australia in January. You are a true hero, and indeed, a natural-born fighter, providing inspiration to everyone in all walks of life.

  13. dale says:

    Gary Moyle is right on target with his reply .I my self have lost family members on both my mother and fathers sides of the family.I to are for reform but when you see senators taking bribes to sign on to this bill what does that tell you .We need to read between the lines its about control.The goverment isnt suppose to be this involve in our lives and or the private sector for that matter,everything they touch turns into a disaster.Medicare and medicade are a mess.What makes them think they can do any better taking on one sixth of our economy.Has everyone forgotten they want to delay breast cancer screening until the age of fifty.Besides what makes the goverment think they know whats best for me and everyone else who they dont even know.I applaude the foundation for their tireless work and dedication but you dropped the ball on this one. Livestrong and free or die

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