What Caught Our Eye (WCOE), June 16, 2017
What Caught Our Eye is our week-in-review blog series, where we recap the cancer policy articles, studies, and stories that caught our attention.

In the Spotlight

“New Analysis Finds Uninsured Rate for Kids Would Increase by 50% Under AHCA”

By Joan Alker, Georgetown University Health Policy Institute
If the Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA) becomes law, the uninsured rate for children would increase by a whopping 50% by 2026 according to a new analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The Center’s report is based on a deeper dive into the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the AHCA that was passed by the House of Representatives last month. Approximately three million more children would lose health insurance by 2026 according to the Center’s estimates.
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Affordable Care Act

“G.O.P. Senators Might Not Realize It, but Not One State Supports the A.H.C.A.”


By Christopher Warshaw and David Broockman, New York TimesIt’s no secret that American Health Care Act is unpopular. In recent national polls, only about 29 percent of Americans support the bill. It is the most unpopular piece of major legislation Congres has considered in decades—even more unloved than TARP (“the bailout”), and much more unpopular than the Affordable Care Act.
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“The Senate’s Three Tools on HealthCare: Sabotage, Speed, and Secrecy”

Op-ed by Andy Slavitt, Washington PostSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had a problem when the American Health Care Act arrived from the House last month. What to do with a bill that is clogging your agenda but only 8 percent of Americans want you to pass and members of your own caucus swore was dead on arrival? McConnell couldn’t have missed the town halls filled with angry Americans who rely on Medicaid and see the Affordable Care Act’s protections for those with preexisting conditions as a godsend. The House bill — which the Congressional Budget Office estimates would cause 23 million to lose coverage and end those protections for many — threatened all of that.
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“The Senate’s Secret Health Care Talks are the Latest Slide Away from Transparency”

By Julie Rovner, Stat NewsCongress struggling to finish a huge budget reconciliation bill. A GOP president pushing a major overhaul of federal payments for health insurance that could transform the lives of sick patients.

Sound familiar? The year was 1986. I was a rookie health reporter on Capitol Hill and watched a Medicare bill move from introduction, to hearings, to votes in subcommittees, to full committees and then to the entire House — an operation that took months and was replicated in the Senate, before the two chambers got together to iron out their differences for final passage.
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Coping with Cancer

“American Health Care Tragedies are Taking Over Crowdfunding”

By Suzanne Woolley, Bloomberg NewsCrowdfunding platforms such as GoFundMe and YouCaring have turned sympathy for Americans drowning in medical expenses into a cottage industry. Now Republican efforts in Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare could swell the ranks of the uninsured and spur the business of helping people raise donations online to pay for health care.
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Cancer News

“Too Much Medical Care: Bad for You, Bad for Health Care Systems”

By H. Gilbert Welch, Stat NewsHere’s a question to ask your doctor: Have you ever had a patient who suffered from getting too much medical care? Assuming she has the time and the inclination to talk, I bet you’ll hear an interesting story.
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“Clamping Down on Unproven Cancer Treatment Products”

By Lisa Schulmeister, Oncology Nursing NewsYears ago, I administered chemotherapy to a young patient who was convinced that drinking milk from a cow that had just given birth would boost his immune system. It seemed logical to him, since antibody levels in this milky fluid, called colostrum, are in fact higher than those found in regular cow’s milk.

Thus, when the FDA issues warning letters on April 25, 2017, I was not surprised to see colostrum capsules on the list of 65 products that fraudulently claim to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure cancer.
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“Advanced Practitioners Called on to Ease Cancer Care Shortage, but Challenges Remain”

By Maria Castellucci, Modern HealthcareThe cancer community is in critical need of additional providers. The demand for oncology services is expected to increase by 40% or more by 2025, while the supply of oncologists is only expected to grow by 25%, according to a study by the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
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“Are Rare Cancers on the Rise?”

By Kristen Fischer, Healthline.comCancer remains a major health obstacle across the globe, but now it looks like rare forms of cancer are becoming more common.
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