Cancer Society CEO: Obamacare Will Save Nation's Public Health

Monday, 30 Sep 2013 07:10 PM

By Courtney Coren and Kathleen Walter

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Obamacare will "change the world" for cancer patients simply because insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, the head of the American Cancer Society tells Newsmax.

That fact alone, plus its emphasis on prevention, is reason enough to support the law, Dr. John Seffrin told Newsmax TV, noting that in his view Obamacare will "save this nation's not only public health, but the economy."

"The bill's not perfect of course, but if you think about a cancer patient, think about my family or your family," he said. "My wife got cancer; she couldn’t get any insurance anymore. So she couldn't be on my insurance, [and] she couldn't get insurance," Seffrin said.

Story continues below video.

"No longer can you deny someone insurance because of a pre-existing condition. So just those two things change the world for a cancer patient," he added.

"Fifteen hundred people today will die of cancer in America, and mostly because they didn't have access to quality healthcare. "That's the big piece of Obamacare that will save this nation's not only public health, but the economy."

"We need to keep people healthy because it's the right and moral thing to do, but we also need to do it for our own self-interest in terms of economic growth and development," he said.

Seffrin said he also likes the healthcare law's "emphasis on prevention," which he believes will end up helping to improve the health of Americans while saving money.

Allowing patients, especially cancer patients, to get the "kind of checkups" they really need is key to catching problems in the early stages, Seffrin added.

"For example, colon cancer — only about 50 percent of Americans age 50 and above get regular colon-rectal cancer screenings — and yet we've proven that the use of that can prevent cancer in many patients and find it at a curable stage in others," he said.

"So I think a key point for people 50 and over is to recognize that they've got to have access to healthcare. If you catch that colon cancer early, you can be cured; if you catch it late, it's a whole different story."

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