women's health

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Couldn’t ‘Imagine’ Facing Cancer Without Good Health Care

Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images

Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus opened up about her experience with breast cancer during a Thursday night interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live, saying facing the disease reaffirmed her belief in the importance of health-care access for all.

When Louis-Dreyfus announced her breast cancer diagnosis in September 2017, she posted on Instagram that the “good news” was that she had supportive friends and family, as well as “fantastic insurance” through her union. “The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so let’s fight all cancers and make universal health care a reality,” the actress wrote.

Louis-Dreyfus told Kimmel (who has been an advocate for affordable health care since his son underwent life-saving heart surgery shortly after birth) that she had believed in improving health-care access before her diagnosis. But going through cancer treatment made her even more passionate about the cause.

“I very much considered the notion that, as someone battling this disease, the idea that I might not have health insurance, which I do thanks to my great union, is completely terrifying,” she said. “… Health care should be for all. I believed that before; now I really believe it.”

The actress and Kimmel also discussed the fact that she wasn’t able to work while she was undergoing treatment — as production on the show had to stall during that time — and how lucky she was to be able to take time off, which is a luxury many people do not have. “I can’t even imagine frankly that hardship,” Louis-Dreyfus said.

This realization is what sparked Louis-Dreyfus — who told Kimmel that she’s feeling strong and healthy — to record PSAs for MultiplyYourVote.org, an organization that encourages people to not only vote, but also volunteer in elections. “At this point I think we’ve got almost 10,000 volunteers through this organization,” she said.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Can’t ‘Imagine’ Cancer Without Insurance