What Caught Our Eye (WCOE), August 18, 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.

Affordable Care Act

“GOP senator meeting with White House on new ObamaCare plan”

Via The HillSen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said he’s meeting with the White House and the Trump administration “two or three times per week” on a plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Cassidy has teamed up with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) on a new proposal that would essentially block-grant ObamaCare funding to the states while repealing the law’s individual and employer mandates.
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“CBO Predicts Rise In Deficit If Trump Cuts Payments To Insurance Companies”

Via NPRCongressional Budget Office released an analysis that found that ending the payments would increase the deficit by $194 billion over 10 years and increase premiums by up to 25%. The cost is “eye-poppingly large,” says Nicholas Bagley, a professor of health law at the University of Michigan. “This single policy could effectively end up costing 20 percent of the entire bill of the ACA.”
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“Trump Administration to Make August Cost Sharing Reduction Payments”

Via ReutersThe Trump administration will make cost-sharing payments to insurance companies under Obamacare for August, a White House spokesman said on Wednesday, but the announcement did little to quell long-term concerns about the insurance market. A recent CBO report stated that insurance premiums will increase drastically if CSR’s are not paid.
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“Colorado’s Gardner faces blowback at home over Obamacare repeal”

Via PoliticoSen. Cory Gardner was hammered for supporting Obamacare repeal during a series of raucous town halls on Tuesday, where constituents repeatedly criticized his role in a closed-door partisan process to draft the failed GOP health bill.
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Find a Town Hall Event Near You

Members of Congress on back in their states and districts on a month long recess. Now is a great time to find out if your Members are holding town hall events near you, using the Town Hall Project’s website: https://townhallproject.com/


Coping with Cancer

“A Cancer Conundrum: Too Many Drug Trials, Too Few Patients”

Via New York TimesWith the arrival of two revolutionary treatment strategies, immunotherapy and personalized medicine, cancer researchers have found new hope — and a problem that is perhaps unprecedented in medical research. There are too many experimental cancer drugs in too many clinical trials, and not enough patients to test them on.
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“My sister’s cancer might have been diagnosed sooner — if doctors could have seen beyond her weight”

Via Stat NewsSeveral studies have shown that many physicians consider the time spent with obese patients a waste, and they don’t hesitate to broadcast their biases in the examining room. […]

“[The OB-GYN] didn’t do anything for me, and he didn’t find anything. He just saw me as a fat, complaining older woman,” Jan said. Demeaned and discouraged, she didn’t seek a second opinion right away. Instead, she explored possible causes of her abdominal pain, wasting months avoiding dairy and gluten and taking over-the-counter pain medications.
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“Brain Imaging Study Shows How Acupressure Fights Fatigue in Breast Cancer Survivors”

Via Univ. of Michigan Health Lab BlogIndividual acupressure points linked to specific centers in the brain can offer targeted relief for breast cancer patients with persistent fatigue, according to a new neuroimaging study.

Researchers at the University of Michigan recently examined the effect of two types of acupressure on fatigue in breast cancer survivors using MRI, the first such study of its kind.
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Cancer News

“Cancellation of bundled payment models reflects White House’s stance on value based care”

Via Modern HealthcareThe Trump administration’s moves to cancel two mandatory bundled payment models and scale back on another means the CMS has to work hard to push providers into value-based care, experts say. The agency said the rules were too burdensome to providers. But some experts worry that might give off the wrong impression.
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“Blood Test Finds Cancer Before Symptoms Start”

Via NBC News HealthThe blood test detected the majority of cancers in people with four of the biggest cancer killers: breast, colon, lung and ovarian cancer, the team at Johns Hopkins University said. The test is a long way from being used to screen for cancer, but the study shows a way to get there, the team reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine. […]

“There is a lot of excitement about liquid biopsies, but most of that has been in late-stage cancer or in individuals where you already know what to look for,” said Dr. Victor Velculescu, professor of oncology and pathology at the Johns Hopkins University Kimmel Cancer Center.
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