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Ellen Schafer, Bismarck, Published April 25 2013

Letter: Accepting funding aids cancer fight

As a volunteer for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, I want to say thank-you to Gov. Jack Dalrymple and the North Dakota Legislature for expanding access to health care coverage for thousands of North Dakotans.

By accepting the funding for Medicaid expansion in our state, more people can have access to health care coverage and receive proper medical attention in a timely manner instead of waiting until they need emergency care.

Because of the actions of the governor and Legislature, more North Dakotans will have better access to preventive care, there will be fewer people showing up in emergency rooms, and lower health care costs because of a reduction in the amount of uncompensated care in the system.

When it comes to cancer, prevention and early detection are crucial to lifesaving treatments. Individuals without insurance are less likely to get lifesaving screenings and are more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage cancer. Late-stage cancer is more expensive to treat and has a lower survival rate.

Thank you to the governor and our legislators for recognizing the importance of providing expanded access to health care coverage for more North Dakotans.