Lance Armstrong's oncologist calls for single payer healthcare

Jan. 23, 2014 at 11:25 PM
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CROWN POINT, Ind., Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Noted oncologists call for a single-payer U.S. healthcare system -- similar to Canada -- because the current system is hurting cancer patients.

Dr. Ray Drasga, a longtime community-based oncologist who founded a free clinic in Crown Point, Ind., and Dr. Lawrence Einhorn, a distinguished professor of medicine at Indiana University Hospital in Indianapolis, wrote an article published in the Journal of Oncology Practice making the case for a single payer system.

Einhorn, past president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, pioneered research in the treatment of testicular cancer and was Lance Armstrong's oncologist.

"With the costs of cancer care skyrocketing out of control, most people with cancer are burdened not only physically but also financially," Drasga told the Lund Report.

"They delay or do not receive care due to their inability to pay. The crisis in healthcare is much more pronounced in cancer due to the high costs of drugs, tests and procedures. For example, the cost of a new cancer drug has increased to a median price of $10,000 per month since 2010, and some drugs cost much more. The situation is worsening. We need a fundamental shift in our approach to funding healthcare in the United States."

Drasga and Einhorn asked their fellow oncologists and their society, ASCO, to endorse a single-payer system of national healthcare insurance. They said they were not optimistic the Affordable Care Act, would be able to solve the healthcare crisis that cancer patients face.

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