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  • 09/07/2007
Two cheers for the American Cancer Society's efforts to focus attention and its advertising dollars on the nation's health access problem -- specifically the uninsured. We're holding the third cheer in reserve because of our concern that policymakers will interpret these commercials as an endorsement of a single-payer, "universal" healthcare system. We're also not 100% convinced that this is the best way for the ACS to spend its money -- but that's their business.

The ACS says that is has "no position" on what kind of health system should be in place in the U.S. Here's a suggestion -- how about one that delivers the highest rate of cancer survival in the world.

According to a recent study in the respected Lancet Oncology -- the most comprehensive ever conducted -- America's cancer-survival rate is the highest in the world among both men and women. By contrast, Britain -- despite its reputation as a utopia of "free" healthcare -- has some of the lowest survival rates in the western world.

Improved access is an worthy goal -- but a single-payer system is not the answer -- especially for cancer patients.

And the American Cancer Society should be brave enough to say so.

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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