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When Matt Bevin ran for the office of Governor of Kentucky, he promised to roll back the expansion of Medicaid in the state. I recently read an article about a cancer patient in Kentucky who had grave concerns about these potential changes to Medicaid. His quote, in fact, said he thought these rollbacks, might cost him his life. I was very empathetic until later in the article it noted the man had voted for Bevin because he felt policy issues other than healthcare were more important. Ultimately, Bevin was elected and now we must wait to see how his health policy will impact the people of Kentucky.

The future of health care is arguably one of the most important issues facing our nation. Costs are rising at an unsustainable rate and this could have a devastating effect on our economy. The demand will only increase as baby boomers reach the age range where they will have the greatest need for health care. Considering the bankruptcy rate for cancer patients is already double the national average, we must ask ourselves: what can we do to assure a cancer diagnosis doesn’t equal financial ruin and is our healthcare system taking this into consideration?

Today, you can’t get on the internet, turn on your TV or pick up a newspaper without being inundated with news about the presidential race. Each candidate is vocal about their positions, some more than others. But what seems to be missing in all the noise is a thoughtful debate about health care. Yes, preventing terrorism, jobs and the economy must be in our consideration of who should be the next president, but those aren’t the only issues we need to hear about. Let’s remember that 1,600 Americans die every day from cancer alone, not to mention all the other health conditions that rob us of quality of life and life itself.

Since candidates aren’t talking about it and media isn’t covering it, voters need to do some looking to find out where they stand on health care. And it isn’t as simple as the Democratic candidates are going to keep the Affordable Care Act and the Republicans are going to repeal it. Democrats have different ideas about how to make the law work better and Republicans vary on what they would replace it with. A particularly good website that summarizes what each candidate is proposing is Ballotpedia and there are plenty of others just a Goggle search away.

Exercising your right to vote is one of the most important things you can do and I encourage you to get out and vote in the next election; as a citizen you have an obligation to help chart the future of this great nation. Be informed on all of the issues—and just because media isn’t covering health care doesn’t mean it isn’t a vital issue to be considered in selecting our next President of the United States.

Speak Up, Speak Out is an advocacy series where we bring you the information you need to know every third Tuesday of the month. Don’t forget, the Colon Cancer Alliance serves as a source of information about colon health. If you have questions or are in need of support, please contact our free Helpline at (877) 422-2030. We’re here to help!


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