The Emmy-winning actress revealed her diagnosis on Twitter Thursday.

By Sy Mukherjee
September 28, 2017

Emmy-winning Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus revealed she has breast cancer on Twitter Thursday—and she’s using the difficult news to advocate for universal health care.

Dreyfus, 56, recently won her sixth consecutive Best Actress in a Comedy Emmy for portraying foul-mouthed former president Selina Meyer on HBO’s Veep. Soon after her historic win, she learned of her breast cancer. “1 in 8 women get breast cancer. Today, I’m the one,” Dreyfus wrote on social media.

But the Veep and Seinfeld star didn’t stop there. Dreyfus went on to note that while she has a strong cancer support network “and fantastic insurance through my union,” millions of Americans affected by cancer don’t. “The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so let’s fight all cancers and make universal health care a reality,” Dreyfus wrote.

Dreyfus’ revelation and plea for universal health care comes just ahead of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October and right after the Graham Cassidy health care bill, the latest Republican attempt to repeal Obamacare, fizzled in the Senate. That legislation had faced strong criticisms from medical and patient advocacy groups who argued it would give states authority to allow insurers to charge sick Americans with pre-existing conditions more money for their care and slash federal health funding.

While many celebrities and Obamacare supporters galvanized to save the health care bill, it doesn’t actually provide universal coverage. Dreyfus’ call for universal health care may be a reference to other recent proposals to expand medical access, such as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ single payer “Medicare for All” bill. That legislation was co-sponsored by nearly all of the Senate’s potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidates (and 16 Democrats overall), showing how popular the concept of universal health care coverage has become in recent years.

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