The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Let Them Eat Cake

10/05/2018

We think of cancer as a terrible disease, destroying bodies and ravishing families.  We don’t think enough about how stressful it is, especially with regard to financial decisions.  Over one-third of cancer patients fully deplete their savings, 24% borrow against their retirement savings, and 37% of cancer patients cut back on groceries — imagine cutting back on groceries for you and your family.  It is small wonder that so many patients skip their chemotherapy appointments.  In all, cancer patients are 2.65 times more likely to go bankrupt!

It seems grossly unfair that cancer treatments are for the rich and the old but not for poor workers with poor or no insurance.  We could have universal health care or we can let them “eat cake.”  Besides Medicaid, which covers little, I’ll bet there are other options, such as utilizing churches and charitable organizations more fully.  Maybe, churches running accredited hospitals could have an “earned income credit.”  Maybe, the IRS could double deductions to those organizations running hospitals or clinics.  There are other options.  It should not be a binary choice of health care for the poor or no health care for the poor.  But, it is!

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