When I was diagnosed with testicular cancer my Urologist, Dr. Martin Schor, told me I should start researching cancer hospitals such as, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center or University of PENN. My doctor was getting me prepared just in case the cancer was late stage. At the time I was diagnosed it was with 99% confidence level based on an ultrasound, not a biopsy. The details were not yet known.
As I researched the hospitals and doctors by making calls I was shocked to learn my healthcare provider (CIGNA) was not accepted at Sloan-Kettering. Now, for those of you who do not know, Sloan-Kettering is recognized as the nations top cancer hospital. To hear my healthcare would not be accepted drove me crazy. I could not believe the nations top cancer hospital did not accept my provider. Logic tells me they should accept ALL providers to ensure everyone can get treated. As it turns out, that was wishful thinking.
I was suddenly affected by one of our countries biggest issues with is the lack of proper healthcare for everyone. Regardless of issue or disease! I was fortunate to have early stage cancer so I was able to get treated locally, but if I needed more advanced treatement I would not even have the option of going to Sloan-Kettering.
This is why the 2008 Presidential race is so important to me and the millions of other cancer survivors. What will our next President do to change our health care system? That is the burning question and one I cannot wait to have answered. Maybe it is “pie in the sky” to some because we all know healthcare is talked about every election year, but I think this time we really have a good shot at seeing some changes.
To get up to speed on the candidates stance on healthcare see the below – brought to you by American Academy of Family Physicians.
Senator Hillary Clinton
Priorities: Clinton wants universal health-care coverage by the end of her second term. She realizes the importance of collaboration between employers, government and labor organizations in achieving success. Official Campaign Site
Senator John Edwards
Priorities: Edwards proposes a plan that would provide health care for all Americans while also making coverage more affordable for uninsured families and providing more options for families with insurance and and making it cheaper and easier for businesses and employers to insure their workers. Official Campaign Site
Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Priorities: Kucinich proposes to establish a single payer system, Medicare for All, to be phased in over ten years. It would be a publicly financed, privately delivered health care system and would provide a prescription drug benefit. The system would eliminate the role of private insurers and put doctors and patients in control of the system. Official Campaign Site
Senator Barack Obama
Priorities: Obama hopes to provide universal coverage by 2012. His plan includes providing affordable, comprehensive and portable health coverage for every American; modernizing the health care system to contain spiraling costs and improve the quality of care; and promoting prevention and strengthening public health. Official Campaign Site
Governor Bill Richardson
Priorities: Richardson sees affordable health care for all as the ultimate goal of the health care system. His plan is three-fold: improve access to already existing sources of affordable coverage; assist families who need help paying for coverage; and promote cost relief. Official Campaign Site
Priorities: Giuliani has said that a single payer system is not an effective way to improve the nation’s health care system. He proposes to give Americans more control over and access to health care with affordable and portable free-market solutions. Official Campaign Site
Governor Mike Huckabee
Priorities: Huckabee proposes an emphasis on preventive care rather than universal coverage as a means of fixing the health care system. He also looks to policy solutions within the private sector to drive cost relief, as well as success or failure within the states to guide policymaking at the federal level. Official Campaign Site
Senator John McCain
Priorities: McCain has spoken of a focus on the importance of health care for veterans. McCain has worked to ensure that veterans receive the health coverage and care they need; he has sponsored legislation that would ensure that health care funding is distributed fairly and that eligible veterans in all regions of the country can equally access high quality health care. He has also supported efforts to give military retirees tax breaks to help pay health insurance premiums, and he has opposed placing user fees on military retirees for using military medical facilities. Official Campaign Site
Congressman Ron Paul
Priorities: Paul, who was a practicing physician specializing in obstetrics from 1968 -1996, has not proposed a specific health care plan. As a Libertarian, Paul does not support the government's involvement in health care. He is not against stem-cell research, but he is against federal funding for such research. Personally, he will not accept payment by Medicare or Medicaid. He favors relaxation of restrictions on illegal drugs, and he voted against the Medicare/prescription drug bill in 2003. Official Campaign Site
Governor Mitt Romney
Priorities: Romney would extend health care coverage to all Americans through the power of the market, not through taxes or government reforms. While he has been lauded for signing sweeping health care legislation during his tenure as governor of Massachusetts, he has not entirely relied on it as a model for his presidential plan. Official Campaign Site
Priorities: Thompson believes that every American should be able to get affordable health insurance. He would work toward a health care system that improves the individual health of all Americans by shifting to a system that promotes cost-effective prevention, chronic-care management, and personal responsibility He also advocates modernizing the delivery and administration of care by encouraging the widespread use of clinical best practices, medical information technology, and other innovations. Official Campaign Site
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