The White House and the entrance to the Naval Observatory will be lit pink tonight, October 24th, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the millions of families who have battled the disease, and who feel its impact every day.
Whether affected by the disease directly, or anxious about the future health of our families, or reminded of loved ones we have lost every time we set the table for dinner, or celebrate the holidays – the fight against breast cancer is relevant to everyone, and we each can play an important role in tackling this challenge. Whether organizing local events, or consistently reminding our mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends to prioritize their own health by exercising regularly, eating well and getting their regular checkups and mammograms, there is always more we can do to help eradicate this disease.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, preventive care, such as well-women visits and mammograms, are now free for women, with no out-of-pocket costs. Insurance companies are also now restricted from charging women higher costs simply because they are women, or because of any pre-existing conditions, including breast cancer.
My mother is a breast cancer survivor, and would be the first to tell you that her ability to access high quality health care saved her life. She was diagnosed very early as a result of her annual mammogram. Through all of her appointments, treatments, procedures, and our trips to the pharmacy, I remember feeling so grateful that my mom had health insurance, and just heartbroken as I thought of the millions of families without the same access to care. In a country as rich as ours, there is no reason anyone should have to face their health challenges without the care they need, and no family should have to face financial ruin when an accident or illness strikes.
As October comes to a close, let us all take a moment to remember the loved ones we have lost to breast cancer, to support those who continue to struggle against it, and to redouble our commitment to achieving a cancer-free world.
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