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When Life Hands You Cancer - Make cancer-ade?
because we all know someone affected by cancer

I found this article via friend and cancer survivor +Lori Dorn. She and this little boy are inspirational to say the least. Author +Xeni Jardin (undergoing breast cancer treatment) also has this to say:

"The moral of the chemotherapy lemonade stand stories is this: If you have cancer in America, and you are not sitting on a big pile of cash, then God help you. Because our health care system sure as hell won't."

What are your thoughts?

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91 comments
 
cancer I take off my niece
 
Honestly I'm surprised that the lemonade stand wasn't shut down for not having a permit.
 
So true. I just lost my father to cancer last year and the medical expenses are shameful. America needs a better system other than wiping ones life savings for a couple of months of treatment.
 
My niece died of cancer in the pancreas
 
+Wesley Harp Ouch. That will be a sad sad day when people start doing that. I mean, could you imagine life without childhood ingenuity? No CainesArcade.com? Hell no.
 
+Wesley Harp There was a recent news story where I news guy tried to legally open a lemonade stand in NYC within I think it was 3 months. They couldn't get all the paperwork and licensing requirements within that framework, but he opened the stand anyway ... no arrests were made. :-D

But jeez, all that for a lemonade stand? People should understand that they are taking a risk buying from someone without the "proper" govt licensing.

Anyway, I sure am glad that the govt does not seem to be enforcing the law on awesome things like this ... I just wish the threat wasn't there ... Cause then, maybe more people would follow this little guy's incredible example.
:-)
 
Really sad news. How can a country allow that live or death of its citizens rely on charity? I absolutely agree with the author. It's a shame.
 
+Víktor Bautista i Roca Charity is actually a more effective way to distribute resources because they tend to be more familiar with the need than the government. It's just that they don't always have the funding that the government enjoys.
 
Excuse my ignorance as I'm looking at this from a British standpoint, but is this one of the things that could have been made more affordable under Obama's health plan but was shot down by the Republicans because it was an idea from a Democrat?

It's when news stories like this surface that I feel lucky that we have the NHS in the UK, even with its failings.
 
+Lynea Tomlinson Thanks for speaking out. I definitely agree with you. I had a mother-figure of mine pass away from cancer, and the medical process to heal her was expensive and intense. Especially because the family wanted to work with different modalities.
 
+Natalie Villalobos, I am so thankful that I had a job and health insurance when I got sick with cancer. But even then, my portion of the medical bill took me 2 years to pay off. All hail, HMO's, not! This story is so touching is so many ways. Bring on Cancerade!
 
The "Illegal Everything" bit doesn't happen everywhere +Lynea Tomlinson . That kind of thing only happens in large metropolitan areas, particularly those with big Union influence. My kids use to have them every summer while we had a garage sale.

The great thing is that the "Lemonade stand" system worked better than the UK system and Obama care and it didn't bankrupt the nation to get it done.

+Víktor Bautista i Roca I'd rather rely in the kindness of people than the tyranny of a government... #justsayin
 
+Brandon Petaccio Here there was an old slogan that said "Not charity, Justice". And even if it were true that charity can redistribute better, well, redistributing zero dollars in a better way doesn't look a good think.
And what if you live in a poor neighbourhood and your relatives and the people you know are also poor? Whose charity do you get?
 
+Sam Gilley It doesn't just happen in cities. I posted a video where it happened in a small town, just google it. Happens everywhere.
 
Oh yeah, and I've had two Aunt's die from cancer (breast and colon), my mother-in-law has stage 4 uterine cancer and my uncle has lymphatic cancer. Some of them have insurance, some of them do not.
 
If you think about the nature of insurance, it exists to re-distribute the costs of prohibitively expensive services amongst a risk pool of folks who largely do not need the services. But today, we use insurance for everything.

Does this not distribute the cost of catastrophic services across basic services? Doesn't it make sense to just use insurance for things that are prohibitively expensive, and then pay market value for basic care? That's my thinking, anyway ...

Look, now this kid's got us all talking about important things ... argh! lol
 
What an awesome little boy! I wish his Dad a successful treatment and good health!
 
+Víktor Bautista i Roca I'm not saying that charity is always available, but it does tend to distribute resources more effectively to those who really need it.

Now take this kid's example ... He created charity out of thin air. Bravo, little guy. Bravo.
 
+Brandon Petaccio Currently you have to use insurance for everything because just about every service is prohibitively expensive for most people. Just going to the doctor one time can cost $200+.

Until the average cost of care somehow comes down, having the free market economically control the price of healthcare will never work. The problem is exacerbated further when you consider that, through Medicare and Medicaid, the government is setting expectations for cost of care with healthcare professionals.

As a rudimentary example, why does it cost my insurance company $140 for an NP to check my kid's ear for infection? It shouldn't, but it does.
 
Amazing fellow. All the best to him and his dad. Brilliant!
+Natalie Villalobos. Thank you for this wonderful heart rending and touching story. I love this lil guy. Hes got what it takes and I hope for his sake his dad gets well soon. Cancer is curable depending on what stage yr at. Currently taking care of some1 I know in the Onco ward whos on Chemo and a survivor. But things are much better in India. U go further with less money, and things are not as harsh, rough and expensive as in the US.
 
+Sam Gilley Wow - that's pretty intense. What are they doing to take care of themselves, monetarily and otherwise?
 
+BJ Cardon As I understand it, competition is lacking in our health care industry. So yes, it's true that market forces can't help without the right market conditions. But fix that, and maybe we could start transitioning.
 
+Brandon Petaccio I definitely think that would be a step in the right direction, but the government is trying to get more involved in healthcare, not less, which only stands to drive up the market rate even more.
 
+Brandon Petaccio As I said, what people should ask for is not charity, but justice.
Maybe I could learn something from the kid, but surely NOT from most of the people comenting here. If you are a 6 year old and have no other personal resources, ok, earn some money selling lemonade. But grown ups, adults, can not rest at this stadium. I agree with the author. It's a shame on US society. Sometimes it looks to me as the USA is not a society, but a bunch of individuals, each looking for themselves, and only caring, maybe, for those next to them.
PS. +Jürgen Hubert, I think you'll like this article and discussion.
 
+BJ Cardon Insurance is expensive because its a business and the bottom line is profit. They work together to make sure someone off the street doesn't pay say $75.00 dollars for a simple checkup. They make sure to make it near impossible to do such simple things.
 
My mother-in-law pays for her treatments with their savings. Thankfully, they spent their lives planning for the worst and hoping for the best. She has been fighting uterine cancer for 5 years... which is longer than they gave her when she found out about it.

My uncle is in remission, has been for almost 10 years. I guess he's on the verge of being considered "cured" so everyone is hopeful for that. He had good insurance from the company he worked for, so it hasn't been as much of a financial burden for him.
 
+Sam Gilley 40% of people[1] (Americans?) will get cancer in their lifetime. How long do you think the kindness lasts when you know 10, 15 people with cancer? If 40% of people in America could all raise 10k just because they had cancer, cancer could probably be classified as a profession.

This "lemonade magic" is an isolated incident. Do you think the family would have raised as much if there wasn't the "feel good story" of a six year old with a lemonade stand raising money for his father? And even then, it's not sustainable.

As the author mentioned, 10k barely covers one treatment. Even if they could raise that much initially, people expect you to do one of two things: get cured or die. I've seen it myself. When my mom first got cancer there was an outpouring of support from the community. All sorts of incredibly nice stuff. But after the first year... or six... nobody cares anymore. If it hasn't killed you, it just becomes a fact of life. Yet the procedures don't cost any less just because you've been doing it for a while.

[1]: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@epidemiologysurveilance/documents/document/acspc-032013.pdf
 
+Víktor Bautista i Roca It seems to me, though, that you are referring to the same activity by two different names. Whether it is the government redistributing resources or a charity, resources are being moved from those who can spare them to those who need them.
 
Sweet to see this kid try to help his Dad...but it is criminal what health care has become in this country.
 
If 40% of Americans need $10,000 single treatments for cancer we are doomed as a society. No amount of wealth redistribution, no amount of taxation, no amount of socialized medicine will be capable of carrying that load. The only reasonable thing to do is to force doctors and scientists and drug companies to provide these services and products for free. That way you don't have to tax the 99% into oblivion just to pay for cancer treatments. And we already have enough guns to force the doctors, scientists and drug companies to comply... #OccupyCancerTreatment
 
+Dan Nemec Poignent statements. I ran my own charity to raise money for the rainforest in Ecuador - 300acres.com. If I told people it was happening again to another tribe I don't think that it would gain the traction it did the first time. People's emotions get drained if you keep coming back to them with timely asks. It's sad to say, but it's almost as if there was some sort of leader board where people's lives could be put up to receive donations and you only invested if you believed in their story - almost like you have to keep telling the world how worthy of life you are.
 
+J Magister Audet what the insurance companies do doesn't matter. The entirety of the problem lies with healthcare professionals (for the sake of argument, I'll ignore the world where these collide) and government regulations. Healthcare companies are using what the government is willing to pay for services as a base line, by doing so the government ensures that no one will ever pay a lower price for those services regardless of what the market cost for doing it is. Additionally, practitioners have to have insurance against malpractice suits because Americans are classically litigious for some ridiculous reason. This insurance is ridiculously expensive and is part of what you pay for at the doctor's office.
 
really his dads makin' meth #BreakingBad
 
So I have another question ... Catastrophic health insurance is available, and without the requirement that it be employer-provided ... Is it bad to ask why people who can't pay for the catastrophic care they now need did not sign up for this coverage ahead of time?

Of course, I understand that it's now a question of what to do for people who didn't have coverage and can't afford care out of pocket. But isn't it also worth discussing how this difficult situation might have been avoided?
 
Healthcare here is worthless. I paid over $3.4k for meds last year, no insurance. With insurance, it would've been $2.15k more -- I'd pay them $2.4k, they'd cover $250 after my deductible. That's not including doctors visits, btw. No, it's not as bad as some people have it, but it was over 78% of my total income for last year. With insurance, it would've been over 100%.
 
+Natalie Villalobos that's not to say that what you did for that single tribe wasn't a fantastic thing to do, even if there's still more work to do! Every little bit helps.
 
So I have another question ... Catastrophic health insurance is available, and without the requirement that it be employer-provided ... Is it bad to ask why people who can't pay for the catastrophic care they now need did not sign up for this coverage ahead of time?

+Brandon Petaccio It's not bad to ask it's just that nobody likes the answer. The answer is it's horribly expensive $100-$200 dollars a month. This means that many people can't afford it. Maybe somewhat less if you opt for a $10,000 dollar deductible. Then you have a 25,000 out of pocket maximum per year so with cancer treatment you still wind up not being able to afford it because it's still 35,000 dollars a year your shelling out. So tell me, how exactly does catastrophic health insurance help someone who can't afford regular health insurance?

Plus, in this case the man has health insurance. What the fuck good is health insurance if it fails when you need it most?
 
+Jacob Pulliam The situation did not look nearly so bad when I looked into catastrophic coverage. I don't remember all the details, but cancer coverage would have cost me between $20 and $25 a month. Possibly because I was young at the time ... I guess it's a question of what the actual options are out there.

I also wonder if a coverage option was available to this man through his employer that would have covered his current medical expenses? I know that my employer offers plans that do cover catastrophic services and plans that don't, but many people don't understand the options ... it's annoyingly complicated, and sometimes a lower co-pay is what stands out.

And let's be honest ... with smartphones becoming ubiquitous, we know that most people have $100-$200 a month, it's only a question of what they choose to spend it on. And doesn't the government take care of the poorest people through Medicaid or something?

What I think we're talking about is the group of people caught in between, where they don't qualify for government programs, but they can't afford coverage or out-of-pocket themselves.

I guess what I'm saying is ... I think we might be lumping systemic failures together with failures of personal responsibility and making it look like a systemic crisis.

Not that we shouldn't help people who find themselves in a pickle, but I think we have to look at all of the reasons the people get into these situations and not just blame it on one thing.
 
+Jacob Pulliam $100 - $200 a month is not horribly expensive for what it provides, particularly when you end up in a catastrophic situation. The problem is entitlement. Why should someone make the sacrifice to pay for the insurance themselves when they are owed it. That, and how is day supposed to get day her did if day gotta pay insurance?

The poor of this country can afford $100 to $200 a month, they just don't want to... they're not motivated to. They don't want to save up a $10,000 deductible, they want cable TV, mobile phones, XBox Live accounts, phat rims on lowered suspensions, they want to eat out twice a week, buy nice clothes, party on the weekends... they have the money, they don't have the discipline.

There are very few instances where a persons ends up in a hard place medically speaking. They are usually young (or a young family) and didn't see it coming. They are the exception and there should be a system to help them, but it does not have to be a single-payer European-style socialist system.
 
Just my two cents here, but until the population and the government of the USA realise that for the benefit of the country and a functional democratic process, universally available healthcare is as necessary as a public school system, there will never be progress on this front. I worked in the healthcare industry in America and was appalled at the unnecessary expense and profiteering, however I never really understood how bad it was and how much it affected the population until I moved to a country that provides reasonable healthcare to its people.
 
I think that is half the problem +Erik Kershaw ... Other countries! Socialism was invented in Europe... it grew out of the tyranny of the Monarchies. What Ye Olde World does in its tiny little city-states doesn't translate to a representative republic over 300 million strong. We can't mitigate all risk nor should we. I think something has to be done about the cost of healthcare, but socialism is not the answer. Socialism does not change the cost, it just spreads it out.
 
+Sam Gilley The poor of this country can afford $100 to $200 a month, they just don't want to... they're not motivated to. They don't want to save up a $10,000 deductible, they want cable TV, mobile phones, XBox Live accounts, phat rims on lowered suspensions, they want to eat out twice a week, buy nice clothes, party on the weekends... they have the money, they don't have the discipline.

And with that statement it's clear that you have no idea what the fuck you're talking about but I'm pretty sure the "phat rims on lowered suspensions" is your dog whistle to racists. To a lot of people $100 dollars is a lot of money. It's the difference between getting to work via public transportation, enough meals for their kids, daycare so both parents can work, or any number of things. Sometimes when I read the bullshit people spew I wonder if I'm even living in the same country as they are.
 
+Erik Kershaw In the rest of the world, people are also forfeiting 40%+ of their paycheck to the government. No thank you. I don't trust the government to take care of me and know what is best for me.
 
I appreciate your concern for tyranny +Sam Gilley , no one wants to see a tyrant. And you're absolutely right, we're not talking "Ye Olde World", we're talking right here, right now. The idea of spreading out the cost is exactly the point. This idea is clearly understood and accepted by a large portion of the population on the subjects of education, infrastructure, law enforcement and many more. These are all "socialist" programs currently at work in the USA. How the same concept does not apply to healthcare is beyond me.
 
The healthcare system is broken. Simple as that. When politicians are in bed with Big Healthcare little change will happen. The so called Obamacare is in danger of being ruled illegal. While not perfect it is a step in the right direction. To say we cannot provide a decent system that allows everyone access to quality care, without being denied coverage due to pre existing conditions is hogwash. Yes we have a deficit that gets larger every second but we can find the money to take care of our people the same way we can find the billions we spend every year at the pentagon. The largest part of the Federal budget is defense spending. How many cancer patients could have their treatment paid for with the money we have spent on the F-22??
 
+Erik Kershaw

It's arguable whether or not "spreading out the cost" is working in its current form for those subjects you mention. Education is kind of a mess, with low salaries, layoffs, and enormous student debt. Infrastructure is okay I suppose, though there always seems to be construction going on somewhere. Law enforcement is also debatable with the Trayvon Martin case, the Occupy movement, and various other forms of corruption.

That said, I also do not believe the solution is to privatize everything -- I'm more concerned about corporate corruption negatively influencing government than the other way around.
 
+Jacob Pulliam what, is there a race attached to phat rims and lowered suspensions? I do know what I'm talking about, you're just too small minded to admit it. $200 a month is $2400 a year... If you can't afford that, you literally can't afford to be alive. Seriously, American poor are the wealthiest poor in the world. And a $10,000 deductible could be saved over the course of 5 years relatively painlessly if one wanted to!

I agree, there needs to be a common sense approach to health care reform, but it shouldn't include universal coverage for all.
 
+Sam Gilley You know the connotation you made. And you're right It's fucking hard to be alive when you can't afford an additional $2400 a year. That's exactly my point. Show me a budget for a family of four that earns $20,000 a year that has enough wiggle room to save for a 10,000 dollar deductible over 5 years and can pay for the insurance associated with it. Oh and that $100 - $200 a month doesn't apply to the whole family. It only applies to one individual. Not to mention that $10,000 dollar deductible ain't a one time thing. On top of that the insurance doesn't pay for everything, it only covers 60-80% of the cost. Clearly we don't live in the same United States. You're acting like everyone is poor and sick because the want to be. That's the first clue that you don't have any concept of reality.
 
If you are a family of four making less than $20,000 a year, you are lucky because there are already government healthcare plans that take care of you.

If you really want to make this case, you should talk about families of three making $45,000 a year and have lots of health problems. Having been one of these people, I know how much harder it is to work through the $30k-$60k gap with a small family and lots of health problems than to be on the bottom bracket or the top bracket. The poor already have helpful programs, the rich don't need them. It's the people in between that we should be encouraging to go up, not drop back down.
 
I thought the "getting my her did" connotation was better, but its not about race, its about a mentality. And I thought we were talking about catastrophic insurance, which is not that expensive. And before a family of four became a family of four they should have thought about the consequences of being a family of four if their earning potential maxed out at $20K. It's like you refuse to consider personal responsibility as a factor in the equation +Jacob Pulliam .
 
I was lucky in that I had health insurance in place but not everyone is and that is what I think is wrong with this country. There should be health insurance for all.

The government is supposed to be there to protect its citizens, so letting them die of treatable diseases is acting against that duty. No one should have to go without health care. Cut the budget somewhere else. People need help.

I just don't see why we can't have a socialized healthcare system in the US. Forget the connotation of the word - after all Medicare is a form of governmentally regulated (socialized) healthcare - it would be a way to get healthcare to those who can't afford it. And those who could afford it would be able to buy up. It just doesn't make sense to me.
 
+Lori Dorn you think that what is wrong with this country is that not every one is as lucky as you?

That's a sad state of affairs, and an offensive one to people who actually have worked for what they have.
 
Medicaid/medicare is a way to get healthcare to those who cant afford it... we don't need a new system!
 
+Lori Dorn the problem is how much trust you put in the government. More particularly, the federal government. Do you think that people in Washington D.C. know what is best for you wherever you are and can make objective decisions about you no matter what the case may be?

I don't trust or want the government to have control over every detail of my life. I also don't want to pay them a boatload of taxes for things I may never take part in. Forced charity doesn't give you any of the benefits that actual charity do.
 
People with cancer should not drink lemonade. In fact they should avoid all blood sugar elevations due to the well known Warburg Effect. But this knowledge is not profitable, so no one knows or cares about it, and it is simply ignored by the public. The sad public who have been brainwashed into thinking that health comes only from expensive drugs and treatments.
 
+Jordi Posthumus thanks for the valuable info, however, the article is not about cancer patients drinking lemonade! lol
 
+BJ Cardon , +Erik Kershaw . Yes BJ, in other countries people give over 40% of their paycheck. In return they receive free healthcare and higher education as well as investment in infrastructure like high speed internet and trains that go 100 mph. Here, we spend around 30% and get none of those things while a place like Germany outgrows our economy and maintains a trade surplus.
 
That's not quite true +Don Wood 47% of American income earners do not pay any taxes at all. And what worse, some people actually have a negative tax rate... that's right, they have a net gain from taxes and get back more than they paid in. Until that changes you are not going to be able to convince anyone to pay more taxes for anything!
 
Really +Sam Gilley ? I had no idea General Electric employed 47% of Americans. In all seriousness, I believe that number is 47% of not wage earners but all Americans, of which around 34% are children, the elderly or the impoverished. I understand different people have different beliefs about how government and the populace should interact. I just would like a fact-based approach to these problems. There are things we do better here than anywhere else, and other countries look at us and use those ideas if they can. There are things that other countries do well and if they can get better results for literally half the cost, why not steal some of those ideas?
I certainly don't want the government running everything, nor do I want private industry running everything. It seems ludicrous we can't figure out which group can best accomplish the given tasks society needs done.
 
They are calculated by Adjusted Gross Income... it's wage earners, not "all Americans" and definitely not children!
 
I know it's not about cancer patients drinking lemonade, +Mohammed Hussein ! :-) But if you read about Otto Warburg and why he got his Noble prize re cancer metabolism, you'll soon realize that sugar both causes and feeds cancer. These discussions about "raising cancer awareness" really upset me when people ignore the simple dietary interventions that we have known about for 100 years. Very powerful ABSOLUTELY FREE cancer fighting nutrition is totally ignored because there is no money in it. It is literally sickening.
 
It is pretty clear by now that Americans are paying more and are getting less out of their health care system than anywhere else in the developed world.
 
...and federal income tax is the only form of taxes in the USA? Really?
 
And finally, $100-$200 per month may not seem much to someone who can afford it, but given the kind of desperate poverty that seems to be more and more common in the USA this may be true of fewer and fewer people. Really, from my (German) perspective the USA seems to be declining towards Third World status.

And why is catastrophic insurance that expensive anyway? I pay the maximum health insurance rate for Germany (since my income is fairly high), and it still costs me only the equivalent of $410 per month - and that's pretty much all-inclusive, with minimal (<$30) added payments in even major medical emergencies.
 
+Jürgen Hubert to be fair, we have extremely advanced health care in the US. And if you have decent insurance, you get some of the best care available in the world. That being said, care is just generally cheaper in Europe. The highest paying insurance holders are probably paying upwards of $1200 per month for their policies, but keep in mind that these are often family policies and not individual policies.

Also, we pay federal income tax, most states have a state tax, and that is in addition to sales taxes (which most people also pay on food products) and innumerable fees for property taxes, vehicle registrations and a number of other things.
 
+BJ Cardon Goes to show u capitalism has failed in its most advanced proponent state- the USA.
 
+Nilanjan Gupta the problem is, you can't tell if Capitalism is working or not because the government is always getting in the way.
 
Well, can Capitalism work without a government? I have my doubts...
 
It can't work if the government won't let it. I'm not saying that all government regulations are bad, but you reach a tipping point where too much regulation causes so many problems that the free market can't really do anything. IMO we are way past that point.
 
By the way, in Germany dependents and spouses without incomes of their own are covered in that maximum of $410 per month as well.
 
And employers pay the same amount (well, a bit less actually) to the health insurance company, which seems to work out well enough for them.
 
Aren't we assuming that we have capitalism in the US in the first place? We've already discussed that the proper market conditions - competition - do not exist in our healthcare system ...

I'm not saying there is no role for the government to play, but we need to consider economic activity for what it is: a giant computer, processing information about needs and resources. Individuals are like the tiny transitors carrying that information. When we trust the government to distribute resources for us, we are trading millions of information processors for maybe dozens, and expecting equal results.

Now, from a purely economic perspective, the elderly, disabled, and terminally ill are less "valuable," and therein we find the limits of pure capitalism. I don't think anyone is saying there is no role for government to play in these tough spots. But I don't think that means we need to expand the role of government, which is inherently less efficient, beyond these critical areas.

Couldn't the government simply provide catastrophic care? It's not like catastrophic care is something people can be incentivised to over-consume ... Doesn't that make sense?
 
The problem is that in this way the risk is outsourced to the government while the profitable customers are the ones kept by the free market.
 
+Jürgen Hubert Other, more wasteful things are outsourced to the government ... Why not something far more valuable, like catastrophic medical care?

The government has the power to tax - it doesn't need a profitable risk pool, and I can't see anyone over-consuming catastrophic care. And it would remove the most costly risks from insurers' risk pools. This seems like a win-win-win to me.

Oh, and we would need to allow competition into the market.
 
+Sam Gilley You misunderstood what I said. I wasn't gloating - I was saying that insurance should be available to everyone because illness doesn't discriminate. That's all.
 
It's so sad that a developed country like the USA doesn't provide healthcare to everybody who needs it.
 
This is so touching. Can't help but cry on this little boy. Sigh.....
 
We should never give up on free access to health - even in our hearts -and eventually change will come upon this embattled world of ours.
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