Two leading Wyoming oncologists explain why Medicaid expansion is critical in the fight against cancer.
Monica M. Bertagnolli, M.D., FACS, FASCO, is the chair of the board of the Association for Clinical Oncology and board member for the American Cancer Society. A Wyoming native, Dr. Bertagnolli is also a cattle rancher near Boulder, Wyoming.
Banu E. Symington, M.D., MACP, is with the Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center, Hematology and Oncology, in Rock Springs, Wyoming.
Dr. Bertagnolli understands the need for Medicaid expansion to protect Wyoming’s critical agriculture economy. Expanding access to Medicaid will protect both the physical and financial health of hardworking Wyoming families.
More than 3,000 Wyoming residents will be diagnosed with cancer this year. Access to health insurance is critical to prevent and catch cancer early when it is easier and less costly to treat. Too many Wyoming residents can’t access the care they need.
Dr. Symington treats many uninsured cancer patients in rural Wyoming. Expanding Medicaid will help prevent cancer or detect it early, saving lives and lowering health care costs for patients, rural hospitals and the state.
When patients worry about health care costs because they don’t have insurance, they often delay care. This leads to worse outcomes and lost lives, as well as higher costs for patients and the hospitals in our communities. Expanding Medicaid will improve outcomes and save money.
Medicaid expansion saves lives. Dr. Symington urges each legislator to think about their own child being unable to access health care because they lack health insurance before they cast their vote for Medicaid expansion. Every patient without insurance is someone’s child.