Florida's Daughter

The Economic Burden of Illness

Posted on: September 4, 2009

While I’ve always known that just one serious illness can bankrupt a family’s finances, it was not until my own recent cancer diagnosis that the truth of that statement became a reality to me. One imagines that private insurance is a blessing, and in many ways it is, but paying $30 every time you visit the doctor, and you’ve got at least 3 doctors to visit several times in one month is stressful on even a middle-class family’s budget.

With private insurance, a co-pay of as much as $30 is due each time a cancer patient goes in for radiation treatments sometimes as often as five times a week for as long as six weeks. A co-pay of $30 is due each time that patient goes in for chemotherapy, and each time she visits any one of several doctors for follow-up appointments.

Then there are the co-pays ranging from $10 – $30 for monthly prescriptions, and funds needed for surgical dressings. Add to all of the above the high cost of eating nutritionally balanced meals. Feeding a family inexpensively is possible, but keeping a family fed on a steady diet of hot dogs, lunch meat, and other cheap foods is also nutritionally unsound.

President Barack Obama was overwhelmingly elected because this nation’s electorate … Democrats, Republicans, and Independents … wanted change. Those of us that voted for change must continue to push for change across the board, including comprehensive healthcare reform. We must pick up where the late Sen. Teddy Kennedy’s fight for access to universal health care for all Americans ended. We must continue to make the demand that healthcare is a right of citizenship in this the most powerful country on Earth, rather than a privilege of the rich and well-connected.

Florida’s Daughter


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