Don’t like President Obama?  That’s fine – but don’t let that stop you from supporting legislation that guarantees a poor cancer patient’s access to care.

A study published in last Wednesday’s New England Journal of Medicine concluded that residents in states that accept funds from the Federal Government to expand Medicaid coverage will likely be healthier and even live longer.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that mortality rates were 6% lower in states which currently operate more generous, comprehensive Medicaid programs.

The key to all of this is expanded coverage, which results in better access to medical care for people who need it most.  Those enrolled in Medicaid are more likely to use preventative care and seek medical help sooner, helping doctors to diagnose cancer earlier.

I try to stay away from politics on my cancer related sites.  But expanded Medicaid access will help tens of thousands of children, seniors and less fortunate cancer patients who are currently unable to get the medical care they need.

You may not agree that the Feds should be spending – and sending – billions of dollars to the states to help expand Medicaid programs.  But the facts are the facts.  Expanded access helps save lives.  I know a number of cancer patients that will benefit from the new program.  But unfortunately, several of them in Florida may not get that chance, given that the state’s newly elected governor, Rick Scott, is threatening not to accept Federal funds to expand our state’s Medicaid program.

I will always err on the side of helping my fellow cancer patients and caregivers.  Take the money, Governor Scott.  You, too, Governor Walker in Wisconsin – and the other dozen or so governor’s who are threatening to reject the Medicare expansion.  People’s lives depend on it.

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat

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