Today is LiveStrong Day. It is the 13th anniversary of Lance Armstrong’s testicular cancer diagnosis. I found this in my email box:
I had a pre-existing condition
Today is LIVESTRONG Day. Thirteen years ago today, my doctor told me I had advanced testicular cancer. What most people don’t know is that at the time, I didn’t have health insurance. In the following weeks, I received letter after letter from the insurance company refusing to pay for my treatment. I was fighting for my life—but also for the coverage that I desperately needed.
The legislation currently being debated in Congress is not just words on a page—for many cancer survivors, it’s a matter of life and death. Now, as this debate enters crunch time, I need your help to ensure that what happened to me doesn’t happen to any other American:
No matter what side of the healthcare debate you’re on, I believe we can all agree on two things:
No American should be denied health insurance coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
No American should lose their insurance due to changes in health or employment.
Will you sign the LIVESTRONG Action petition to make sure any legislation includes these two critically important reforms? We’ll deliver these to Capitol Hill this month as the debate reaches its climax and make sure our voices are heard in the debate:
When I received my diagnosis, I was between cycling contracts. My new insurer used the diagnosis as a reason to deny coverage after the new contract was signed. Fortunately, one of my sponsors intervened. At their insistence, I was added to their insurance company and was able to continue my life-saving treatment. If my sponsor, a powerful company, had not gone to bat for me, I may not have made it.
I was lucky. We can’t rely on luck to ensure coverage and treatment for the millions of Americans affected by cancer. Some cannot get coverage because they’ve already been diagnosed. Others get calls from their insurance companies saying they have been dropped. It happens all the time—and it’s unacceptable.
Every year on LIVESTRONG Day, we come together to take action for a world without cancer. In the U.S., a critical step is to make sure cancer survivors can get and keep their health insurance.
It has been 13 years since my diagnosis, but in some ways, not much has changed. No person should have to worry about health insurance while battling cancer. That so many do is an outrage, and we must speak out.
Please sign the petition and forward it along to your friends and family:
Lance and the LIVESTRONG Action Team
Thank God that he had someone to go to bat for him. Imagine being diagnosed with cancer without good health insurance in the USA. Scary, isn’t it?
I am thankful every single day that I had good insurance coverage when my kidney cancer was found. I am grateful to my insurance company for covering as much as they have of my treatment.
Without this coverage, there is no doubt in my mind, that I would either be gone, or close to gone by now. There is no way we could have afforded the surgery and subsequent scans and treatments. I am at just over a year since my diagnosis. Even when I was in the hospital for most of September (further entries on that later) I was still grateful for every single day I have here.
During all of this, I think back to the several years we were without insurance and all those still without insurance. It is a sad state of things when we can’t see beyond ourselves in the USA. The fact that health care is still seen as a privilege is disgusting. It has been shown, time and time again, that we already spend more a year, per person, than countries with universal health care. And, this is with all their citizens having coverage. Read that again, we spend more per person, with 46 million having no insurance.
Someday, maybe, we’ll look beyond our own wallets to our nation full of citizens as a whole and advance our health care.