Friday, August 31, 2007

American Cancer Society decides expanding health care is #1 priority

From the NYT via nyceve on DailyKos:
In a stark departure from past practice, the American Cancer Society plans to devote its entire $15 million advertising budget this year not to smoking cessation or colorectal screening but to the consequences of inadequate health coverage.

The campaign was born of the group’s frustration that cancer rates are not dropping as rapidly as hoped, and of recent research linking a lack of insurance to delays in detecting malignancies.

Though the advertisements are nonpartisan and pointedly avoid specific prescriptions, they are intended to intensify the political focus on an issue that is already receiving considerable attention from presidential candidates in both parties.

The society’s advertisements are unique, say experts in both philanthropy and advertising, in that disease-fighting charities traditionally limit their public appeals to narrower aspects of prevention or education.

But the leaders of several such organizations, including the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association and the Alzheimers Association, said they applauded the campaign’s message that progress against chronic disease would be halting until the country fixed its health care system.

I cheer this development. But it's sad that the American Cancer Society feels that it has to do this. The time has come for something better. If only we hadn't wasted so much money on invading and occupying Iraq, or fighting the stupid "drug war", we could probably easily pay for this. But better health care is one of those things that it's probably worth borrowing money to pay for. Of course, the more responsible thing to do would be to raise the revenue now, i.e. raise taxes or impose a new tax. Nothing is free, but some things are worth the price.


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