Today is “LiveStrong” Day. While I am generally not a fan of artificial holidays, this one is important. It’s the date that Lance Armstrong was told some 13 years ago that he had advanced testicular cancer. In an email sent to the LiveStrong supporters today Lance tells another story about that time – Lance DIDN’T HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE when that diagnosis was made.
Below is the email from Lance and the LiveStrong organization. Having watched both my mom and my dad succumb to cancer, I have always found the efforts of Lance and the LiveStrong organization to raise money to fight cancer to be a wonderful thing – the perfect spokesperson at the perfect time. I am wearing my yellow bracelet right now. I wasn’t aware of Lance’s insurance problems though.
As one who spends his days fighting insurance companies on every case, I am certainly well aware of how stubborn, tricky and problematic they can be. Take a minute to read Lance’s email and check out the sites…
EMAIL FROM LANCE ARMSTRONG/LIVESTRONG
Today is LIVESTRONG Day. Thirteen years ago today, my doctor told me I had advanced testicular cancer. What most people don’t know is that at the time, I didn’t have health insurance. In the following weeks, I received letter after letter from the insurance company refusing to pay for my treatment. I was fighting for my life—but also for the coverage that I desperately needed.
The legislation currently being debated in Congress is not just words on a page—for many cancer survivors, it’s a matter of life and death. Now, as this debate enters crunch time, I need your help to ensure that what happened to me doesn’t happen to any other American:
No matter what side of the healthcare debate you’re on, I believe we can all agree on two things:
No American should be denied health insurance coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
No American should lose their insurance due to changes in health or employment.
Will you sign the LIVESTRONG Action petition to make sure any legislation includes these two critically important reforms? We’ll deliver these to Capitol Hill this month as the debate reaches its climax and make sure our voices are heard in the debate:
When I received my diagnosis, I was between cycling contracts. My new insurer used the diagnosis as a reason to deny coverage after the new contract was signed. Fortunately, one of my sponsors intervened. At their insistence, I was added to their insurance company and was able to continue my life-saving treatment. If my sponsor, a powerful company, had not gone to bat for me, I may not have made it.
I was lucky. We can’t rely on luck to ensure coverage and treatment for the millions of Americans affected by cancer. Some cannot get coverage because they’ve already been diagnosed. Others get calls from their insurance companies saying they have been dropped. It happens all the time—and it’s unacceptable.
Every year on LIVESTRONG Day, we come together to take action for a world without cancer. In the U.S., a critical step is to make sure cancer survivors can get and keep their health insurance.
It has been 13 years since my diagnosis, but in some ways, not much has changed. No person should have to worry about health insurance while battling cancer. That so many do is an outrage, and we must speak out.
Please sign the petition and forward it along to your friends and family:
Lance and the LIVESTRONG Action Team