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New Poll Reveals Cancer Patients Struggle to Afford Health Care and Pay Bills in Tough Economic Times

Guest Blog from the American Cancer Society

A new American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) poll of families affected by cancer shows that cancer patients, survivors and their families continue to struggle to afford health care and pay for other basic needs such as food and heat in the troubled economy. The findings suggest the need to implement the Affordable Care Act so that it benefits people with cancer.



The poll finds that nearly half of cancer patients and survivors under age 65 have had difficulty paying for health care costs such as health insurance premiums, co-pays and prescription drugs in the past two years. One-third of those currently in active treatment have had to delay some type of health care in the past year.


The data also indicate that families affected by cancer are struggling to pay non-medical bills, with one in three of those under age 65 having difficulties affording basic necessities, such as food, heat and housing, and other bills in the last two years. One in five of those under age 65 reported spending all or most of their savings during the same time period.


While families affected by cancer are familiar with the holes in the broken health care system, many report that they are unaware of key provisions in the Affordable Care Act that will benefit them. Once they learn more about these provisions, vast majorities support them.


ACS CAN continues to work to ensure that the Affordable Care Act is implemented in the strongest possible way for people with cancer and their families.


The nonpartisan poll was conducted from May 21 through June 2, 2010 among adults 18 and older who say they or a member of their household has cancer or a history of cancer. Additional information about the survey can be found in the following documents.



ACS Press Release


Lake-Bellweather Poll Report


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