Expanding Medicaid Would Impact Breast Cancer

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and I am swept up in a wave of emotions. You see, this month marks the 25th anniversary of my surgery to remove a malignant tumor in my breast. I am deeply thankful to be alive today!


But I am also angry at our healthcare system. Like the millions who have and likely will succumb to this horrible disease, I could have died from that tumor because I was uninsured for years and couldn’t afford medical care. I got surgery right in the nick of time. But thousands of women, particularly women of color, don’t have the same luck. They’re the victims of our fundamentally unjust healthcare system.


I just penned an op-ed in USA Today detailing my story – and how we can save lives from breast cancer. As I explain, there’s no question that our healthcare system is “disproportionally failing to protect Black and low-income women from breast cancer.”


Expanding Medicaid – which Mississippi has refused to do for years – would have a powerful impact. As I note, “Providing people with Medicaid coverage boosts cancer screening, which is critical to catching the disease at an earlier, less dangerous stage… An analysis of more than 30,000 cancer patients found that Medicaid expansion significantly reduced racial disparities in treatment access.”


Every moment that Mississippi lawmakers refuse to expand Medicaid, we are losing more lives to breast cancer.


The Mississippi Center for Justice has been at the forefront of the fight to expand Medicaid for years. Join us in our fight. Every dollar makes a difference.


Vangela M. Wade is president and CEO of Mississippi Center for Justice.