Volunteers with the Iowa Chapter of the American Cancer Society are in Washington, D.C. today to talk about health care reform with the Iowa congressional delegation. Amy Johnson-Boyle of Cedar Rapids is one of the members of I-CAN, or the Iowa Cancer Action Network . Johnson-Boyle says they tell legislators they want a healthcare plan where everyone has coverage regardless of their health status or pre-existing conditions.

Johnson-Boyle says inadequate insurance or lack of insurance is causing unnecessary death and suffering from cancer. She says they will tell legislators that “healthcare reform matters in the fight against cancer and we want that reform to include insurance that is adequate, affordable and available.” She says they some other issues they want to see addressed in the reform.

She says they also want legislators to eliminate annual or lifetime dollar limits on benefits and limits on out-of-pocket expenses. Johnson-Boyle says no Iowan or American should fear bankruptcy or debts as they are fighting for their life. Insurance providers say the more you include in coverage, the more it will cost. Richard Deming, Des Moines, a cancer doctor from Des Moines, says it costs more to treat people in the long run if they don’t have coverage, as those patients don’t seek treatment early on.

Deming says those people are afraid they don’t have coverage, or know they don’t adequate coverage, or they know the co-pays are going to be so expensive, that they delay treatment and the cancer gets to a stage where it is less curable. There are a total of seven Iowans who are joining 600 other Cancer Society volunteers from across the country to lobby legislators about healthcare. You can find out on the ICAN website.