The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Financial Hardship for Cancer Survivors

Jun 3, 2024

The number of cancer patients who are of working age is on the rise, and the cost of care is causing a great deal of financial difficulties for many. Close to 60% of working-age cancer survivors say they are facing financial difficulty, according to the Wall Street Journal. Almost 50% of cancer patients say they incurred debt, and almost 50% of those had debt of more than $5,000. That’s despite the fact that nearly all had health insurance.

Rapidly increasing costs of cancer drugs are a large part of the problem. From 2004–2008, about 25% of cancer drugs cost between $100,000 to $200,000. Today it’s over 80%, with 55% now costing over $200,000!

Insurers are making patients pay more of these costs. One study found out-of-pocket costs for privately insured, working-age cancer patients rose 15% from 2009–2016, according to the WSJ. These increasing costs make it more likely that cancer patients take on credit card debt and end up late on credit-card and mortgage payments or experience other financial difficulties.

Try holding onto a job in the middle of fighting cancer! No wonder many cancer patients end up filing for bankruptcy, and those who do have an 80% higher risk of dying.

How disgusting is it, in this day and age, with the wealth that exists in this country, that workers should have to deal with losing everything they have, while fighting for their survival against a horrible disease? It’s a sign of a sick, decrepit capitalist society that needs to go.