WASHINGTON (WJZ) — Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera finished his final treatments for cancer last Monday, following the team’s win over the Dallas Cowboys. It was a joyous moment for him following his diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma earlier this year.
Going through the treatments illuminated an issue of national importance for the 58-year-old coach, who took time during his Monday press conference to address what he feels is an unfair and unequal healthcare system in America. Rivera told reporters that the country needs the Affordable Care Act or a version of it to be able to provide “affordable, quality healthcare” to everyone.
Ron Rivera says his cancer treatments have shown him how unfair it is that America doesn't make high-quality health care available to everyone, regardless of income. pic.twitter.com/pawaSGGWhg
— michael phillips (@michaelpRTD) November 2, 2020
“After seeing what I went through and just knowing what the cost has to be, you worry about the folks that can’t afford what I had. And it’s, I don’t want to say it’s unfair but it is. These folks deserve every opportunity and it just struck a chord with me. Whether I get involved with something directly or get involved with something indirectly. I know Inova is doing its big fundraiser this Friday and I’m going to be part of it,” said Rivera. “Those are the types of things that, if that’s all that I can do then I’m going to do it. But, I just think that we need to understand that we need to have the Affordable Care Act. Whether it’s current structure or it’s being changed or being corrected or being fixed or it’s being added on to. We need to have something for the folks in the United States of America. For us not to have affordable, quality healthcare and be the richest nation in the world that’s kind of a disappointment.”
Healthcare is an important issue heading into this year’s election with the country facing a continuing surge of COVID-19 cases. A Pew Research Center poll conducted in September of this year found that 63% of Americans agree that the government has a responsibility to provide health care coverage for all as opposed to 37% who don’t.