By Angela Wall, Communications Director & Caitlin Carmody, Online Communications Coordinator
Are you outraged? We sure as hell are.
This October, we could be talking about a lot of things that would help address and end the breast cancer epidemic, including landmark cancer prevention legislation that Congress COULD be taking up right now. What are we talking about instead? Republicans throwing a tantrum over critical healthcare law that HELPS women living with breast cancer, and they’re doing this DURING A MONTH DEVOTED TO “BREAST CANCER AWARENESS!”
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), while imperfect, benefits women at risk of and living with breast cancer in a number of ways. These include eliminating unfair policy cancellations if we get sick (including a breast cancer diagnosis), ending annual and lifetime limits of coverage, ending discrimination for pre-existing conditions (including breast cancer), and ensuring that women won’t pay more for the same coverage as men. The ACA also focuses increased attention on preventive services and provides pathways to expand insurance to more women and families (unless your state cynically refuses to expand Medicaid coverage even though the federal government will pick up 90% of the tab).
How ironic, or unusually cruel, that on the first day of “Breast Cancer “Awareness” Month,” the government shuts down over opposition to a law that helps women living with breast cancer.
The government can shut down, but breast cancer does not. So far during the government shutdown an estimated 1,909 women have been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. An estimated 325 women have died. All while Republicans throw a tantrum over expanding healthcare coverage to people who need it most. This is not what we need from our elected leaders. We don’t need tantrums, distractions, and government shutdowns. We need action.
Turn your outrage into action with this year’s Think Before You Pink campaign, which calls for an end to pinkwashing through strong regulation of toxic chemicals. Once Congress gets its act together, we’ll deliver your signatures directly to them.