American Cancer Society: Health insurance key to reducing death rates

The American Cancer Society has released a study, via the British medical journal, Lancet, that confirms the suspicions of many policy analysts. If you don’t have health insurance you are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer in their 3 and 4th stages; and not in the 1st and 2nd stages when medical interventions can save lives.

Breast, lung, colon and melanoma cancers were cited by the ACS as cancer conditions that are treatable with early diagnosis.

In addition, the ACS study found that when comparing African American to white patients, Black patients received late diagnoses. Hispanics were also almost at the same risk factor as Black patients.

The study looked at data from late 1990s to present.

In addition to the uninsured, Medicaid patients fared as poorly as the uninsured in terms of early diagnosis.

In other words, it’s not enough to give everyone insurance, the insurance cannot be the minimum federal/state insurance of Medicaid.

Releasing this study, now, in the middle of a heated election campaign is perfect timing. That the ACS chose to release the study via a British medical journal might be indicative of the fears they may have of the insurance carriers.

Certainly, all candidates running for the White House and Congress should be forced to respond to these implications, i.e., racism in the system, 50 million people without any health insurance, and finally, Medicaid, an important federal/state system of health care, needs a radical revamping.