Michelle Obama has been garnering quite a bit of publicity for the changes she’s made around the White House. It’s been a while since a first lady was this popular and she’s using it for good. In fact, the first lady took the opportunity today to promote breast cancer awareness. Whether you like or dislike Obama, you have to admit, people were listening.
The event took place in the White House flower garden and while Mrs. Obama was the one instigating it, she brought on a little help in the form of Joni Lownsdale, who talked about her diagnosis of breast cancer. At first, the event would appear to be an attempt to do something for breast cancer awareness month, but from there, Lownsdale began to talk about her difficulties since being pronounced cancer-free. As a young woman who has had cancer, her chances of getting health insurance are virtually nil.
At the moment, Lownsdale pays $600 a month for her insurance. She’s considered too high risk for most insurance companies since she has had cancer in the past, despite it being Stage One and rapidly resolved.
“I will most likely be cancer free for the rest of my life, but having the word ‘cancer’ written on my medical chart is enough to generate an automatic rejection from insurance coverage,” Lownsdale said earlier today. And she’s not the only one facing this issue. Thousands of women are being rejected for coverage because they have cancer in their past and it doesn’t matter if you were diagnosed thirty years ago, chances are you’ll be turned down.
Breast cancer is a serious subject and one that can never get enough coverage. When someone like Michelle Obama covers the topic and publicizes it even more, people listen. That being said, however, some people are offended that breast cancer would be used to promote the healthcare reform issue that is so controversial throughout the country. Does Obama have a point? Should she have turned this garden party into a promotion of her husband’s campaign? While history will tell us that a good first wife will always back her man, this may be a case of going too far and it can only spark more controversy.
The CDC is well-represented by Porter Novelli on specific breast cancer initiatives. PN also works for the Hoag Breast cancer clinic.