Ask LIVESTRONG: Forget the Politics


After yesterday’s State of the Union address by President Obama LIVESTRONG posted a message in support of comprehensive health care reform, calling for a reexamination of the plan on the table but opening the door for other options. This morning we sent an email to our constituents asking them to remind their elected officials to stay on target and not forget health care reform. We received many responses. Some in favor of our message and some not so favorable. In order to make sure our message regarding reform is clear, we chose a few of your concerns for our communications director, Katherine McLane, to answer. Thank you to Doug, Joe and Jeff for writing in your comments. We appreciate your feedback.


  1. China Gates says:

    I read the email. It is openly advocative of contacting congressmembers and asking they support the “healthcare” legislation. Pure political campaigning on your part. I gave you money, I will not surrender my Constitutional freedoms, on behalf of your own political leanings.The private sector has produced all the advancements in cancer research, a federal government run healthcare system will stagnate.
    Don’t piss in my pocket and tell me it’s raining. It’s insulting.

  2. Jana Hobbs says:

    To LIVESTRONG staff or other supporters to share a quick story. Please visit – Lance Armstrong has some SERIOUS competition!!!

  3. Greg keeler says:

    I too believe that we need health care reform but not the bill that is currently before congress. I can not support a bill that is fundamentally flawed and will cost American jobs, increases taxes and does little to truly reform health care or the insurance industry. What I will do is insure that I never give monetary support to LiveStrong again and influence others I know to do the same.

    LiveStrong should focus on the issue of fighting cancer not the larger landscape of Health Care.

    1. Greg- LIVESTRONG is not necessarily supporting a certain piece of legislation. We want reform so that those that are uninsured are covered, those under-insured don’t have to worry about choosing between medication and paying the mortgage, that you don’t get dropped from coverage if you hit some arbitrary maximum and that a pre-existing condition doesn’t exclude you from purchasing insurance. We will continue to fight for these principles. No bill will be perfect, but something that addresses these issues is better than the current state of affairs.

  4. Robert says:


    We need Health Insurance Reform, not Health CARE reform. Healtcare reform is political.It’s about control.

    Health INSURANCE reform means more people have access and protection from financial ruin.

    Lance and myself Had the Best Drs in the WORLD for our Cancer. It was the INSURANCE that was the issue.

    There is a difference between the 2 Names. Insurance and Care are 2 different things

  5. Jeremy says:

    Doug and the Livestrong Team,

    I am very disappointed to see that you have now made your organization political. I was on board when I thought it was about raising money to find a cure for cancer, but I didn?t believe you were here to push a political agenda. I, along with the majority of Americans, have spoken loudly that we don?t want the socialized healthcare that Obama and congress are trying to force on us. It is true that changes need to be made for those who are uninsured, but it is not the job of the government to take care of us. I will not add my name to your list because I am firmly against their healthcare program, and I am so upset that I may withdraw my participation in the 2010 Seattle Livestrong Challenge. I also hope that your organization isn?t part of the pork spending and earmarks in the stimulus plans that are raising our national debt to all time highs.



  6. Brad says:

    You say your not political, yet you support the taking over of our health care delivery system. My wife and I have found Lance to be an inspiration to us personally, however I truly believe that nothing will destroy the pace of progress we have made fighting cancer faster, than what you naively suggest in your video and email. Remember “First do no harm”. These short sighted proposals that you champion will hurt more than they could ever help. If cancer is not a partisan issue then why support a partisan resolution that the vast majority of Americans and more importantly our supporters oppose?

  7. Robert says:

    You can exclude ,rightfull discourse all you want.I have probably been here longer than you, who decides to delete to change the message . It doesn’t change what is now obvious.

    That letter sent was inappropriate . LAF is not a political organization . We seek to help others, like ourselves , who have battled, won, lost or been touched by cancer.

    “There is an inherent danger of becoming the very thing we fight”. Wonder who said that?

    It is truly sad that after 12 years for me, LAF has reached this point.

    It is not the Drs who have researched for years. It is not the millions of healthcare professionals who are the best in the world . They are not the problem.

    Read the bill. The entire bill. Nothing in either version does anything that is the mission of the LAF. Not one thing. It will actually cause employers to cut health insurance. More people will lose their insurance. It will cost research dollars.

    Brook : ” No bill will be perfect, but something that addresses these issues is better than the current state of affairs.” Have you read the entire bill? There would be no way , as there is no possiblity that it would be better. None. It is an economic disater of Titanic proportions. It will help nobody avoid what problems we have now . It will actually cost more people their insurance, and Tax them to death.

    I highly suggest that someone there read the entire bill. You say” well, we really don’t mean the current one. “. Is there another one that has been passed by House and Senate, waiting for reconcilation and vote into law? NO.

    Take 20 Lawyers into a room and read all of it.Even the Congress does not understand it. When you are done Then you will understand the mistake that e-mail ,letter was.

    What a shame ..

  8. Barbara says:

    In healthcare, the debate has left most of us in agreement that insurance companies need to be reined in. They should not be allowed to reject those with pre-existing conditions or to raise rates when their clients become sick. We mostly agree that lifetime caps on benefits are unfair. Since each of us could become sick and run afoul of those rules, we oppose them and ask for their reform. On the other hand, we reject the total revamping of the healthcare industry, the reduction of doctor pay, the cuts in Medicare and the mandatory insurance embedded in the ObamaCare legislation. Were Obama to embrace these solutions, he would be able to pass his bill quickly and would be hailed for it.

  9. Robert Teglia says:

    Livestrong’s “Forget the Politics” article is sadly ALL ABOUT POLITICS! I collected in excess of $3000 in the 2009 Livestrong cycling event in San Jose, CA, my first year as a participant. Prior to that, I raised approximately $50,000 over a period of 15 years cycling in MS150 events for multiple sclerosis. I decided to change to raising money for cancer after becoming disillusioned with the growing political aspects of the MS150 organization. In my opinion, Livestrong is following along the same mistaken path. The healthcare plan as presently constituted in both houses of Congress is the worst piece of proposed legislation ever. Soliciting Livestrong supporters to contact their Congressmen to keep moving ahead on the current healthcare reform effort is the absolute wrong approach. I also didn’t appreciate the negative reference to the election of Scott Brown, suggesting it was a setback to positive healthcare reform. Shame on Livestrong for promoting politics over the good will and dedicated efforts of those of us who do century rides because we believe in the cause. I am 67 years of age and had intended to continue cycling in Livestrong fundraising centuries well into my 70’s. Because of the misguided approach you are taking to help stamp out cancer in our lifetime, I am terminating my fundraising efforts with Livestrong, effective immediately. I remain a loyal and dedicated fan of Lance Armstrong and will continue to wish him well with his new Radio Shack team. I would like nothing better than to see Lance win an 8th TDF.

  10. Alan says:

    What do you mean LIVESTRONG is not supporting a specific piece of legislation? Your blog on Dec 21 is titled “LIVESTRONG Supports Senate Healthcare Bill.” And your blog on November 7th is “In Support of H.R. 3962” endorsing the House bill. Please quit lying to us. LIVESTRONG is asking us to support specific legislation. But it is clear many of us are uncomfortable with parts of the legislation.

    LIVESTRONG is a 501c3 non-profit and it is looking like you are running dangerously close to actively speaking for only the Democratic party. I am very grateful for Lance’s ability to raise awareness of the issue. But you just ask us to support SPECIFIC pieces of legislation. And then you have the gall to say LIVESTRONG is not actively supporting the legislation.

  11. China Gates says:

    If LAF actually does want:
    […reform so that those that are uninsured are covered, those under-insured don?t have to worry about choosing between medication and paying the mortgage, that you don?t get dropped from coverage if you hit some arbitrary maximum and that a pre-existing condition doesn?t exclude you from purchasing insurance. “]
    as you say, the correct process is to petition your representatives to re-write a new , honest, simple and constitutionally legal bill that can be passed; Without fear,or favor of trial lawyers, without lobbyists’ favors for insurance companies and with the advise and consent of the U.S. citizens who will pay for this. Otherwise you advocate “healthy slavery”.

  12. Facebook User says:


    I would like to repost the comments I made on another post that is similar to yours.

    We need to be uniting behind the cause. Our focus should be neither the political differences that we have nor the specific views of one political party. We lose one American per minute to cancer–a disease that knows no party lines.
    The LAF always talks about the cancer continuum:
    Prevention,Early Detection,Access to care.
    Research, Survivorship as the pillars to fight this disease.

    I learned, after the 2008 Livestrong Summit, what ?Vote Yellow? means. 1. n. An expression of choice made by 12 million cancer survivors and their loved ones. 2. v. To declare one?s opinion that our leaders should make cancer a national priority.

    Let us continue on this path, to keep cancer a national priority; to eliminate discrimination against individuals because of pre existing conditions. To eliminate any annual or lifetime limits on coverage and that insurers should not have the right to cancel the policy because of a change in your health or employment.

    These are the changes that I would like to see, that Katherine spoke about in the last ?ask livestrong? video and what we as livestrong advocates support. It makes no difference to me what party does this, be it Democrats, Republicans or a joint effort. Let?s bring the focus back to what is needed: Health care reform.



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