The Emmy winner uses her diagnosis to push for universal healthcare
Cancer is crushingly costly.
This week, actress Julia Louis Dreyfus revealed that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She made the announcement on social media.
Just when you thought… pic.twitter.com/SbtYChwiEj
— Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@OfficialJLD) September 28, 2017
Dozens of celebrities came out in support of her, including Anna Kendrick, Wanda Sykes, Olivia Munn, Candace Bergen and Joe Biden.
We Veeps stick together. Jill and I, and all of the Bidens, are with you, Julia. pic.twitter.com/JP0c2wtrJ6
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 28, 2017
Dreyfus used her breast cancer announcement to call for universal health care saying: “The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring family and friends, and fantastic insurance through my union. The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so let’s fight all cancers and make universal healthcare a reality,” she concluded.
J sending all my healing energy your way. You are incredible to use this moment as an opportunity to support others. Thank you. Much love xd https://t.co/okgfVDUeAW
— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) September 28, 2017
Whether you’re for or against universal healthcare, it’s hard to deny that — on top of the emotional and physical pain breast cancer can cause — it all takes a severe financial toll on women and their families.
Even with a good insurance plan, the out of pocket costs can be high. A study released in September by The Pink Fund, which polled more than 1,000 breast cancer patients and survivors, found that 64% of women paid up to $5,000 out of pocket to treat the disease, 21% paid $5,000 – $10,000 and 16% paid $10,000 or more with close to 6% saying the costs was upwards of $20,000.
These costs come at women each and every month. A study published in the Journal of Cancer Survival found that direct out-of-pocket costs for things like doctors fees ranged from “$300 to $1,180 per month during active treatment, and were about $500 per month 1 year post diagnosis.” That was on top of non-medical out-of-pocket costs — things like transportation to doctor’s office and parking, which often aren’t covered — which “ranged from $137 to $174 per month in the year post diagnosis; and $200–$509 per month 1 year or more after diagnosis.”
These costs take a huge toll on women and their families. The study from The Pink Fund found that about one in four of these women say they nearly went broke trying to pay for their treatment. What’s more, nearly half said they had to use their retirement savings to pay out-of-pocket costs and 26% had to swipe their credit cards.
Even worse, many couldn’t rely on what once was their steady income to pay for these ongoing expenses. One in three women with breast cancer report losing their job or being unable to work for a time due to a disability caused by treatment.
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