Maine can be a leader in the cancer fight
To the editor:
This year in Maine, an estimated 9,190 people will be diagnosed with cancer and another 3,240 will die of the disease. People without health coverage are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer at its later stages, when patients are less likely to survive and treatments are more costly.
Our Legislature has an opportunity this legislative session to help in the fight against cancer. The federal government has allocated funds to increase access to health care through MaineCare coverage for hardworking, low-income families in our state. More and more states are taking advantage of this opportunity based on the fact that covering more people makes moral and fiscal sense. We can cover more people and save millions of taxpayer dollars that are currently spent to treat the uninsured in emergency rooms.
If Maine makes the right choice and provides this lifesaving health coverage, nearly 70,000 people who otherwise could not afford critical care will have the security of knowing they have access to proven cancer screenings and treatments.
I urge our lawmakers to accept the federal dollars already allocated for Maine and be a leader in the fight against cancer.
Karin Howe, volunteer
American Cancer Society
Cancer Action Network