We must help those sick with cancer

A statement of the obvious from Macmillan:

Lynda Thomas, charity chief executive said: “It is heart-breaking that people in their 40s and 50s with cancer might have to go cap in hand to their parents to ask for money simply to keep a roof over their head or put food on the table. The cost of cancer is leaving people embarrassed, ashamed and dependent.

“Borrowing money could cause tension amongst families at a time when people need support more than ever. While Macmillan is here for anyone facing money worries, we also need the Government, healthcare professionals and the banking and insurance sector to play their part to ease this burden.”

Social insurance is one of those luxury goods. No, not a luxury in the vernacular sense, but something which we spend a greater portion of our incomes upon as we generally get richer. Another way to say the same thing is that such insurance is higher up Maslow's Pyramid of desires.

Thus we have a health care system which treats all and sundry who fall prey to any of the diseases which can attack us. We have our queries about whether the precise method of organisation is the best one to utilise or not but the general principle, that a rich nation should treat what ails is not disputed by us.

The same is true of the wider treatment of those who get losing tickets in life's lottery. Those unfortunate enough to get cancer in middle age should not be living under bridges for the manner in which God played dice with their lives. So, sure, a system of support, why not? 

Terry White, from Nottinghamshire, was 56 when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He said: “Life before cancer had been comfortable. I’d worked hard and saved hard but six months into an eight-month chemo regime our savings had dwindled to nothing and our finances had spiralled out of control.

“I had to claim benefits for the first time in my life, with the threat of our home being repossessed hanging over us. 

And of course we do have such a system. So, back to sleep everyone, we've already got a welfare state.